Penguins News & Rumors: Guentzel, Goalie Trade & Familiar Faces

Welcome to Pittsburgh Penguins News & Rumors, where we cover all the hot topics about the club and dive into more than just box scores. Get ready for some rapid-fire headlines that will run us through all the noise surrounding Pittsburgh’s beloved Penguins.

Penguins Forward Owns the Vancouver Canucks

Jake Guentzel was a one-man show against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and will look to continue his strong play when the Penguins face off against the Seattle Kraken on Monday night. The Penguins winger scored three times and had one assist, extending his point streak against the Canucks to an impressive 10 games.

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While Guentzel potted three, he could have scored two more. There’s no one in the NHL happier to have Sidney Crosby back on the ice as the two have fantastic chemistry. You have to be able to keep up to Crosby not only with your hands and feet but with your mind, and Guentzel thinks the game in a very similar way, which explains their success.

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The 27-year-old winger now has 13 goals and 24 points in 23 games. Regardless of what happens over the next few months, don’t expect to see Guentzel moved. He’s one of the Penguins’ core pieces, who will be great with Crosby for many years to come.

Penguins May Consider Trade With Dallas Stars

Over the weekend, Jeff Marek of Sportsnet reported that the Dallas Stars are shopping goaltender Anton Khudobin. The veteran netminder has this season and next on his contract, paying him $3.3 million per season. In 2021-22, he has appeared in seven games, and they weren’t his best, posting a 3.73 goals-against average and a .873 save percentage.

Anton Khudobin Dallas Stars
Anton Khudobin is a trade option to replace Casey DeSmith (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

I’ve mentioned before that the Penguins should be looking to replace their current backup Casey DeSmith who is winless this season and would benefit from more playing time in the American Hockey League.

Related: Penguins Fire Sale Trade Rumors Overblown

Khudobin would be a great option for the Penguins because he comes with a wealth of experience, he’s familiar with some of the players, including fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin, and he’s on a reasonable contract. The Penguins are cash-strapped to the salary cap, there is no denying that, but management could get creative and fit Khudobin’s deal under the limit. Look for the team to make a trade, and keep an eye on the Stars’ netminder.

Penguins Happy to See Brandon Tanev & Jared McCann

The Kraken expansion draft was a tough one for a lot of teams, but perhaps nobody suffered as much as the Penguins, who lost both Brandon Tanev via the selection and Jared McCann via trade (through the Toronto Maple Leafs to Seattle).

While Tanev was a beloved grinder for the Penguins, he’s found the back of the net a bunch more in Seattle with more ice and a wonderful opportunity to expand his game. He’s already up to eight goals in 24 games and is joined by McCann as two of the Kraken’s top-three goal scorers.

Both ex-Penguins are playing together on a line with Morgan Geekie, and McCann is now up to 10 goals thanks to a two-goal performance last week against the Buffalo Sabres. It wasn’t an easy decision for Penguins management to trade McCann to the Maple Leafs; they knew he was bound to blossom into a fine goal-scorer. Unfortunately, that’s what happens in a hard cap world, and sometimes a team is left with no choice.

The Penguins will be happy to close out their nine-day, four-game road trip on Monday night against the Kraken and will look to carry the momentum after easily handling the Canucks. Look for Guentzel to continue his hot hand and for him and Crosby to be a force. There is also a spotlight on the second line to start producing more as the team awaits Malkin’s return. There’s no doubt the Penguins can’t wait to get back home, but first, they’ve enjoyed the sites in Seattle and can’t wait to get things Kraken tonight.

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