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Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel
Photo credit: The Hockey Writers

A star will be officially available this summer, and the Montreal Canadiens absolutely must inquire

Published January 5, 2024 at 11:39 PM
BY DAVID ST-JEAN

Over the years, the Canadiens have drafted well in positions for defense and goaltending, but it's less evident on the offensive side. Juraj Slafkovsky is becoming a good player, but apart from him, there aren't many prospects destined for the top 6.

Kent Hughes is well aware of this and will have to turn to the trade or free-agent market to address this glaring gap. A star forward from the Penguins will most likely be available on July 1, and Kent Hughes must seize the opportunity. Indeed, Jake Guentzel, who has reached the 40-goal mark twice and is on track to do it for a third time, will not negotiate with the Penguins before the end of the season, according to David Pagnotta.

"As I mentioned earlier today on NHLNetwork, as of today it sounds like Jake Guentzel is likely going to wait until the end of the season before getting into any serious contract discussions with the Penguins. He's eligible to become a UFA this July."

Usually, this kind of statement comes with the player wanting to test the free-agent market. If that's the case, Kent Hughes will have to inquire about the asking price.


Guentzel would automatically become the Canadiens' best forward and leading goal scorer. He would bring a whole new dimension to the team's offense, and he's only 29 years old. He still has plenty of excellent hockey left in him for several years.

The forward has accumulated 457 points in 490 NHL games and currently earns 6 million. His best season to date is 84 points, and he is on pace to surpass that mark, with already 43 points in 37 games.

POLL
January 5   |   552 answers
A star will be officially available this summer, and the Montreal Canadiens absolutely must inquire

Would you sign Jake Guentzel for 5 or 6 years at a high price?

Yes18533.5 %
No36766.5 %
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