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The Pittsburgh Penguins’ reported asking price for Jake Guentzel is more reasonable than you think

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Photo credit:James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
2 months ago
Given that if the Pittsburgh Penguins were to make star winger Jake Guentzel available in the trade market ahead of the March 8th deadline, the overwhelming assumption is that the return would need to be massive.
After all, Guentzel has been Sidney Crosby’s right-hand man for years on the Penguins’ top line and would make them a significantly weaker team. Trading Guentzel could signify the end of an era, and players in the Penguins room, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, have been vocal to their GM Kyle Dubas, hoping to sway him to keep the two-time 40-goal man.
But another report, potentially the first of this kind when it comes to Guentzel, has identified a potential asking price: a return similar to what the Philadelphia Flyers got for Claude Giroux in March 2022, when they traded him to the Florida Panthers.
This, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who divulged the Penguins’ asking price for Guentzel in a Monday edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast:
Someone said to me ‘You know Dubas, right?’ and I said ‘Yes, I’ve met him once of twice before.’ And they said ‘You know he’s done his research.’
What did Claude Giroux get? A first rounder and Owen Tippett. Now, don’t forget, Florida was kind of down on Tippett at the time, but he’s turned out to be a great find for Philly. If Giroux had gone to Colorado, it was a first rounder and I think (Justin) Barron. And so it was a first, and a good prospect in both of those cases.
Look at the Tyler Toffoli deal. When Tyler Toffoli got traded from Calgary to New Jersey, he was traded for (Yegor) Sharangovich, who has turned out to be a really good pick up, and a third rounder. Now, obviously Dubas is going to look at the Giroux deal, as opposed to the Toffoli deal, because the Giroux price was a little bit higher.
Dubas is sitting there saying ‘Look. If you want Guentzel, I want the Giroux deal.’ He can wait. Everyone is looking at Guentzel, and the teams who want him, know whether Kyle Dubas waits — and a really tough weekend for the Penguins. A bad loss to Minnesota, no points against Winnipeg. I think Dubas is prepared to let this play out, because he knows the comparables, and everyone else knows the comparables too.
To me, it’s just simply a question of when does Dubas decide if he’s going to do it. (If) Pittsburgh is in the race, I still think he does it, but I’ll say the math isn’t very good for them. Everyone knows that’s what the Penguins are going to be asking for, when the time comes for Guentzel.
Ears should be perked.
The Tippett deal was a little larger than Friedman had alluded to, but the basis of the deal was the first and the prospect, with Florida also giving up a third-round pick. But Philadelphia sent pieces with Giroux, too, in the form of a fifth-round draft pick, and two other mid-20s prospects that ended up leaving to play overseas. The Toffoli deal, mind you, also saw the Devils send a third-round pick alongside Sharangovich to the Flames.
So what’s the comparable for the Oilers?
Tippett had, at the time of the trade, played 94 NHL games for the Panthers, scoring 14 goals and 33 points, and had 60 points in 63 AHL games. A former first-round pick, Tippett had some pedigree, but was largely blocked in Florida from playing any role of significance.
Philip Broberg or Raphael Lavoie might be the closest to fitting that mould. Broberg has 79 disappointing NHL games under his belt, but has shown lots of promise in the American Hockey League with his first-round pedigree, scoring seven goals and 46 points. This is somebody that, in theory, could slide up to the NHL as soon as this year for the Oilers, should the club trade Brett Kulak in a move to free up cap space, and at the latest next season.
Lavoie, meanwhile, has found himself between a rock and a hard place. Not quite good enough for NHL minutes, but at 23 years old, he is starting to put together an impressive AHL resume, with 58 goals and 107 points in 170 games.
The closest comparable to Sharangovich would be Warren Foegele. A depth winger who has put up solid production and two-way play but needs a higher allotment of ice time to really make an impact.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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