Lightning trade for potential Canucks UFA target Jake Guentzel

Photo credit:James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
13 days ago
One of the biggest fish set to hit the free agent market on Monday might not make it after all. A new suitor recently burst onto the seam in a big way as the Tampa Bay Lightning entered the Jake Guentzel conversation on Day 2 of the NHL draft. The rumours were all solidified on Sunday morning when the Tampa Bay Lightning acquired Guentzel from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2025 third-round pick.
Guentzel, 29, scored 30 goals and 79 points in 67 games split between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes. He was acquired — along with defenceman Ty Smith — from the Penguins at this year’s trade deadline in exchange for forward Michael Bunting, forward prospects Vasily Ponomarev and Ville Koivunen, the rights to Cruz Lucius, and a conditional first-round pick. The conditions on the pick were not met, and it fell to a second-round pick.
The Lightning made two big splashes at the draft on Saturday when they traded Mikhail Sergachev to the Utah Hockey Club in exchange for J.J. Moser, Conor Geekie, a 2025 second-round pick, and a 2024 seventh-round pick. But they weren’t done there. Tampa traded Tanner Jeannot to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick.
Many believed these trades were an effort to clear cap space to retain their long-time captain, Steven Stamkos. However, after the draft, Stamkos’ agent reiterated that the former 60-goal scorer will test free agency on Monday. With this trade, both sides seem to be moving on from one another.
The Vancouver Canucks have seen two of their potential targets — Chris Tanev and Jake Guentzel — have their rights traded within the last 20 hours. Guentzel and the Canucks have shared a mutual interest in a marriage since the trade deadline. However, that situation looks more like a dream than a reality with the trade this morning.
Canucks GM Patrik Allvin will need to switch his focus to other UFA top-six wingers for tomorrow’s free agency. Unless signed to a contract today, Sam Reinhart, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, Tyler Toffoli, and Jeff Skinner are all potential options for Vancouver tomorrow.
Get ready for the Daily Faceoff Live Free Agency Special, coming to you on July 1st, 2024 LIVE from 11am to 2pm Eastern Standard Time. Join Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli and friends from all over the league 3 hours of non-stop action as they dive deep into the heart of the Free Agency. We will be breaking down every trade, discussing the impact on teams, predicting the future of the Free Agents, and giving you the inside scoop on all the wheeling and dealing happening around the league. Catch all the action live on July 1st from 11 AM to 2 PM EST for the The Daily Faceoff Live Free Agency Special you won’t want to miss!

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