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NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reports the Carolina Hurricanes are pushing to re-sign Jake Guentzel before July 1st. Will Guentzel stay with the Hurricanes or test free agency? Get the latest NHL rumors here.

As the NHL offseason heats up, the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in a familiar position: trying to retain a key offensive player. This time, the focus is on winger Jake Guentzel, acquired in a trade deadline move that sent ripples through the league.

Guentzel, a pending unrestricted free agent, has quickly become an integral part of the Hurricanes’ high-powered offense.His chemistry with linemates Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis has been undeniable, making him a priority for re-signing.

Carolina Hurricanes & Jake Guentzel: Contract Talks Heat Up

NHL insider Pierre LeBrun has reported that the Hurricanes are actively engaged in contract discussions with Guentzel. While they hope to finalize a deal before July 1st, Guentzel has indicated he may test the free agent market while keeping the Hurricanes as a viable option.

The financial aspect of these negotiations is a significant factor. Guentzel, 29, is reportedly seeking a six-year deal worth $9 million annually. This would make him one of the highest-paid wingers in the NHL, a testament to his offensive prowess and overall value to a contending team.

The Hurricanes, known for their shrewd financial management, must carefully weigh Guentzel’s value against their salary cap constraints. However, their desire to maintain a competitive edge in the loaded Eastern Conference could push them to meet Guentzel’s demands.

One thing seems certain: Guentzel will not be returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him and where he spent his entire career until the trade. LeBrun reports that Guentzel was “pretty angry” about the trade and even more so about the Penguins’ lack of effort to extend his contract beforehand.

As the July 1st deadline looms, the NHL rumor mill will undoubtedly churn with speculation about Guentzel’s future. Will he remain a Hurricane, cementing their status as a Stanley Cup contender? Or will he explore other options, potentially leaving a void in Carolina’s top-six forward group?

The answer to these questions will significantly impact the Hurricanes’ offseason plans and the landscape of the Eastern Conference.

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