Carolina Hurricanes forward Jake Guentzel.
Photo credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Guentzel says he wanted to stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins

Published March 27, 2024 at 3:52 PM

It was an emotional night for fans in Pittsburgh as former Penguins forward Jake Guentzel returned for the first time since his trade to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Fans in attendance brought signs to the game, welcoming Jake Guentzel back to PPG Paints Arena and six minutes into the first period, the Penguins played a video tribute on the jumbotron for him.

Led by captain Sidney Crosby's three-point performance, the Penguins would go on to win the game by a final score of 4-1 as they try to remain in the mix for a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

After the game, Jake Guentzel met with reporters and was asked about his trade from the Penguins to the Carolina Hurricanes and he told them that his intention was to stay in Pittsburgh, but the team wanted to go in a different direction.

"My intention was to stay, but they thought there was a better direction..." Guentzel said to reporters.

Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas pulled the trigger on a deal that sent Guentzel to Carolina one day before the National Hockey League's trade deadline, and in returned acquired Michael Bunting, forward prospects Vasily Ponomarev and Ville Koivunen, the rights to forward Cruz Lucius, a conditional first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 draft.

In nine games with the Carolina Hurricanes since the trade, Guentzel has played very well, putting up 12 points (two goals, ten assists), two penalty minutes and is a plus-ten. There's no doubt that Guentzel is going to play a huge role in the top-six and on the powerplay in the playoffs as the Hurricanes look to make it to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2006.

It'll be interesting to see how the market plays out this summer for Jake Guentzel. Once free agency opens at Noon ET on July 1st, there will be plenty of teams looking to add him to their roster and Guentzel will certainly get a big jump in pay over the $6 million he's currently earning.
March 27   |   141 answers
Jake Guentzel says he wanted to stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins

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