Adam Crowley

Adam Crowley

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Jake Guentzel's injury could thwart a potentially special Penguins season

The Penguins are in the market for a top-six winger.

Jim Rutherford confirmed it yesterday on 105.9 the X.

“There’s not as many guys on the market place right now," said GMJR, "so the prices are a little higher than I’d like."

He continued, "I‘ll continue to try to do something prior to the deadline on a daily basis."

Many names have been floated in rumor circles: Jason Zucker, Chris Kreider, Brandon Saad, Tomas Tatar, and Tyler Toffoli to name a few.

I'd bet on prices coming down a tad prior to the deadline and Jim Rutherford getting his man. He always does, doesn't he?

Here's the problem: Whoever he gets won't be as good as Jake Guentzel. There's not a bona fid 40 goal scorer on the market right now. Guentzel was the perfect fit to play on Sidney Crosby's left wing. That's not to say that Chris Kreider wouldn't be an upgrade over their current situation, but he's no Jake Guentzel.

Not only did Guentzel score 40 goals last year, he was on pace to do so again this year. There's also the fact that he's been at his very best in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Guentzel has 24 goals and 43 points in 41 playoff games.

The Capitals, Bruins, and Lightning are all legit threats to win the Stanley Cup. Hockey is a game of attrition. Maybe they'll lose a player or two, too.

I think, when healthy, the Pens are every bit as good as any of those teams. They could still beat those clubs in a seven game series, but the odds are stacked against them without Jake Guentzel.

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