Hurricanes trade rights to Jake Guentzel to Lightning ::

Hurricanes trade rights to Jake Guentzel to Lightning ::

The day before free agency begins in the NHL, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Eric Tulsky announced a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning, sending the rights to forward Jake Guentzel for a 2025 third round pick.

Carolina received Guentzel and defenseman Ty Smith from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a big move on March 7 last season in exchange for forwards Michael Bunting, Ville Koivunen, Vasily Ponomarev, Cruz Lucius, a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a conditional 2024 fifth-round pick.

“All of my intel tells me their plan was sign Guentzel, get him done,” 99.9 the Fan’s Adam Gold said on Saturday before this deal. “Trade Martin Necas, this is all before the draft started, and depending on which team they were going to move him to, there were rumors of Columbus, they had the fourth pick, the Devils had the tenth pick, the Sabres had the eleventh, all three of those teams were interested.”

Without a deal in place for Guentzel, Gold said the ‘Canes didn’t want to move on from Necas. Gold adds he believes Carolina made a concerted effort to re-sign Guentzel, the money was not there for what would be demanded in free agency.

“The difference between 8 (million dollars) a year and 9.25 (million dollars)┬áis a player, a bottom of your roster player, but it’s a player, and the Hurricanes have a lot of players to sign between now and the start of training camp and really now and the next week,” Gold said.

Tampa Bay seemed to be preparing for a move like this on Saturday: the Lightning traded defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to Utah and forward Tanner Jeannot to the Kings, making room for a player like Guentzel.

The 29-year-old had 25 points in 17 games during the regular season for the Hurricanes. He had four goals and five assists in 11 postseason games for the ‘Canes as well. Carolina’s season came to an end in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after falling in six games to the New York Rangers.

Seth Jarvis