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Massive Five-Asset Trade to Go Down Imminently With the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Published February 23, 2024 at 4:53 PM
BY AARON
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As you know, the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Kent Hughes, is very active in the trade market right now. Moreover, according to information reported by several well-connected NHL observers, the Canadiens are looking to acquire a top-6 forward to help the team reach the playoffs as early as next year.

It remains to be seen whether this significant acquisition will be made through a trade, the free agent market, or even this summer's draft. One thing is certain, the Tricolore's GM is not resting and is absolutely looking to improve his team to avoid the failures of the last two seasons.

Is Kent Hughes in discussion with the Pittsburgh Penguins?



According to Rob Ellis of "NHL Trade Rumors," the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge is currently in discussion with Kyle Dubas in hopes of completing a major transaction involving five elements, including forward Jake Guentzel.


Wow! That's interesting!

According to his sources, Kent Hughes is willing to include Quebecer Joshua Roy, defenseman Jordan Harris, and the Winnipeg Jets' first-round pick in 2024 to acquire scorer Jake Guentzel, as well as 28-year-old defenseman Ryan Graves.

"This potential transaction has significant implications for both franchises. The Canadiens, looking to get back into playoff form, believe that adding a proven scorer like Guentzel is the perfect veteran presence to guide their young core. Guentzel, an elite scorer, would immediately fit into the first line alongside Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. However, this transaction depends on Guentzel's willingness to sign a contract extension with Montreal.

For the Penguins, this potential return marks the beginning of a rebuilding phase. GM Kyle Dubas recognizes the need to start gathering assets and draft picks as the Penguins prepare for life after the Crosby, Malkin, and Letang era. Harris is a promising young defenseman, Joshua Roy is a top forward prospect, and an additional first-round pick is an extremely valuable trade chip." - Rob Ellis

Although Jake Guentzel is 29 years old, which doesn't exactly fit with the team's core, the presence of a veteran could greatly help the Canadiens' attack, especially when players like Brendan Gallagher and Josh Anderson are no longer part of the Montreal lineup.

It's also worth noting that the left winger is an exceptional scorer, having reached the 40-goal mark twice since his arrival in the NHL. There's no doubt that his acquisition would significantly boost Martin St-Louis's top-6, possibly allowing the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge to make the playoffs as early as the 2024-2025 season.

After all, the Canadiens need a player capable of regularly putting his name on the scoresheet, and such players are clearly not common. Over his last six seasons, Jake Guentzel has accumulated more than a point per game, amassing an impressive total of 385 points in 381 games. If the American were to agree to a contract extension in a "sign and trade," he could instantly become a very interesting option for Kent Hughes.

Statistics of Jake Guentzel:

· 2018-2019: 40 goals and 36 assists (76 points) in 82 games
· 2019-2020: 20 goals and 23 assists (43 points) in 39 games
· 2020-2021: 23 goals and 34 assists (57 points) in 56 games
· 2021-2022: 40 goals and 44 assists (84 points) in 76 games
· 2022-2023: 36 goals and 37 assists (73 points) in 78 games
· 2023-2024: 22 goals and 30 assists (52 points) in 50 games

However, while the idea of adding a player of Jake Guentzel's caliber is very appealing, the idea of adding a defenseman with a $4.5 million salary, lasting until 2028-2029, is much less so. Indeed, the 6'5'', 220-pound defenseman signed a catastrophic contract extension last summer, and it would be surprising if Kent Hughes wanted to take on this overly long agreement.

In two to three years, the majority of the bad contracts awarded by Marc Bergevin will finally be over. It is believed that the Montreal management will only want to keep players signed by the new management. It's hard to see how a defenseman, who was once known for his offensive skills despite only 10 points this season, would "fit" into the Canadiens' salary cap.

Here is the complete proposal:

TO MONTREAL:
· Jake Guentzel + Ryan Graves

TO PITTSBURGH:
· Joshua Roy + Jordan Harris + First-round pick of the Jets (2024)

Although adding Jake Guentzel could be a step in the right direction to aid the rebuilding process, mortgaging the salary cap with a five-season contract does not seem to be the avenue Kent Hughes wishes to explore. It's also important to consider that Guentzel will become a free agent this summer, likely with very high salary demands.

Would you make this trade if you were in Kent Hughes's shoes?

POLL
February 23   |   415 answers
Massive Five-Asset Trade to Go Down Imminently With the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Who would win this trade?

Montreal17341.7 %
Pittsburgh24258.3 %
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