Jake Guentzel could be the answer in the Canucks' quest for a top-6 winger

Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin has indicated he wants to bring in a top-six winger, and would do well to renew his pursuit of Jake Guentzel.
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The overriding theme from general manager Patrik Allvin's end of season presser on Thursday, was that he wasn't satisfied. That despite a successful season, he wants to find ways to improve the Vancouver Cancucks to the extent that they will become regular contenders.

While speaking to the assembled media, one of the ways Allvin mentioned aiming to strengthen the team, is by bringing in a top-six winger with speed. This of course leads to the question of who would be worth pursuing, who would fit this criteria?

One name which springs to mind is Jake Guentzel, who is an unrestricted free agent once the season concludes. And if Allvin does decide to consider him, it won't be the first time.

Canucks apparently missed out on Guentzel previously

As per TSN's Pierre LeBrun prior to this season's trade deadline, the Canucks were mentioned as one of a number of legitimate contenders to make a move for Guentzel. In the end he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, but will he be interested in re-signing with them for next season?

At the very least, you would anticipate the Hurricanes wanting to make a concerted effort to bring the two-time All-Star back for the 2024-25 campaign. After all, they paid a King's ransom to the Pittsburgh Penguins to acquire him, including top prospects and a couple of picks for this year's draft.

Regardless, there will be a number of other genuine suitors also looking to sign Guentzel. He's an excellent, hard-working, two-way forward with a high hockey IQ, whose coming off one of the best campaign's of his eight seasons in the NHL.

The financial implications for the Canucks

Understandably, how much money and term teams are prepared to offer the 29-year-old, will be crucial in influencing his decision. You would imagine he will demand -- and get -- an increase on his most recent contract, which paid him an annual average of $6 million over five seasons.

In respect of the Canucks specifically, on a peripheral level they are seemingly in a better financial position than most to make Guentzel an offer he would find enticing. As per CapFriendly, at $23,778,333, they have the eight-highest projected cap space for next season at the time of posting.

However -- as always -- it's not quite that simple, with the Canucks having nine unrestricted and two restricted free agents to consider on their roster. This will be quite a tall task to say the least, with the list include the likes of Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm, Tyler Myers, Sam Lafferty, Casey DeSmith, Arturs Silovs and Filip Hronek, as well as Dakota Joshua, Ian Cole, Mark Friedman and Teddy Blueger.

Does Demko have the durability to be the main goalie?. Does Demko have the durability to be the main goalie?. dark. Next

This does not mean the Canucks shouldn't throw their hat into the ring for Guentzel - they should make a pitch to bring him to Vancouver. However, it will be a huge challenge for Allvin and a big test of the skills and hard work, which deservedly saw him named as a finalist for the Jim Gregor General Manager of the Year Award.

Recent Posts