Guentzel reportedly turned down a six-year contract offer. Will Pittsburgh risk it?

Guentzel reportedly turned down a six-year contract offer. Will Pittsburgh risk it?
Guentzel reportedly turned down a six-year contract offer. Will Pittsburgh risk it?

One of the big question marks this season is how the negotiations between Pittsburgh and Jake Guentzel will turn out. Although there is speculation that the debate over a new contract could drag on into the summer, the question is whether the Penguins will want to take that much of a risk. According to the latest information, the American attacker should have rejected the offer of a six-year contract worth 51 million dollars. In the event that he and Guentzel could not come to an agreement, he could leave completely without compensation.

Information about Guentzel was presented by former hockey player Nick Kypreos, who currently works as an analyst for Sportsnet cable television. According to his information, Pittsburgh general manager Kyle Dubas was to present his player with a six-year offer with an annual salary of $8.5 million per year.

However, an increase of two and a half million was not enough for Guentzel and he refused the contract. According to speculation, Guentzel could demand an annual salary of around 10 million, which would mean that Pittsburgh would only have eight million available for the remaining contracts next season, while only having ten forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender on the roster.

However, it must be emphasized that Guentzel deserves a significant salary increase. He is in his prime and has long been one of the most productive hockey players in Pittsburgh, along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. In the 2021/22 season, he even won his team’s productivity with 84 points (40+44). This season, he is second in productivity with 22 goals and 27 assists.

Dubas now has to think about how to deal with the whole situation. Either he can try to offer Guentzel a contract with an annual salary of around 10 million and operate with limited finances, or he will have to try to squeeze as much as possible out of Guentzel in the market. The consideration for such a hockey player would be high and advantageous for Pittsburgh with regard to the future.

At some point, the Penguins will have to start rebuilding. Their staff is aging, 36-year-old Crosby is under contract until 2025, 37-year-old Malkin until 2026, 36-year-old Letang until 2028. These personalities, who have connected with Pittsburgh their entire careers and ensured the organization won three Stanley Cups, will not play forever and are already around them can start building a new young core that will start taking over the baton after them.

However, Dubas wants Pittsburgh to be competitive for some time due to its stars (Washington is now experiencing similar problems with Alexander Ovechkin), so Guentzel’s high contract at the moment could undermine the effort to be competitive. He could not look for significant reinforcements in the market with free players due to a lack of money.

At the same time, one more important aspect needs to be mentioned, which is the fact that Guentzel might not want to be part of the rebuild, so even the offer of a luxury contract would not convince him that he should stay with the Penguins. The 29-year-old forward won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2017, but the knowledge that he will play the rest of his career with a team that will pay a tax for delaying the rebuild may deter him from signing a new contract.

That brought the entire carousel back to square one for the opening question – will Pittsburgh risk losing Guentzel without a replacement? Dubas should not wait and should try to offer the maximum that he is ready to sacrifice at the earliest opportunity. Even if Guentzel doesn’t sign, it’s in the best interest of the organization to try to work out a trade that benefits Pittsburgh.

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The article is in Czech

Tags: Guentzel reportedly turned sixyear contract offer Pittsburgh risk


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