NHL Rumors: Two Surprising Teams Could Have Interest in Jake Guentzel

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on the Jeff Marek Show on if teams like Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks could look at pending UFA forward Jake Guentzel.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Friedman: “He asked me for like a fun July 1st (inaudible). So I said okay, and you want to hear what I picked?”

Marek: “Sure.”

Friedman: “Well, first of all, you should have been listening. Secondly …”

Marek: “I was, I was doing my Vancouver hit at that point. Thank you very much.”

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Friedman: “Anyway, why would you even bother? But my surprise July 1st pick is Jake Guentzel, Chicago.”

Marek: “Ohhhhh.”

Friedman: “That’s what I’m going. He wanted something off the board. So that was my off the board pick.”

Marek: “Okay, let me throw another one at you then.

Friedman: “Okay.

Marek: “And I’m going to stick with Jake Guentzel. And trust me I’m going somewhere with this one. Jake Guentzek, San Jose.

And here’s why. Here’s why. Macklin Celebrini, Will Smith. Now I’m sure the conversation about Will Smith coming out involved in a conversation about where’s he going to be playing? And if he’s coming out, he’s going to play in the NHL. Macklin Celebrini is going into the NHL. One he can play in the NHL and two, Bay Area guy the whole story, they need him there to sell some tickets.

Friedman: “Yeah, yeah.

Marek: “The issue with Mike Grier now is, and boy, wouldn’t they love to have Timo Meier back right now. Wouldn’t they love to have Tomas Hertl back right now. Now that they’ve all of a sudden been gifted, you know, two centers that are gonna be up the gut for them for the next 10 years. They’re gonna need players to surround these guys with

Like, they’re gonna need, like this is a big job here from Mike Grier. You just can’t let these two minnows flounder starting, starting next season. So now the job, is how do you, and Chicago went through this too, and they brought in Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, etc.

How do you insulate these two with some veteran players? Again, when you look at the nature of rebuilds and how you do it, be really careful with who you get rid of because you might get some star players here and San Jose has got that right now and they need to fill it with guy, with veterans and guys and know how to play.

Therefore, if I’m taking Jake Guentzel somewhere or any high level winger or I’m going to San Jose.”

Friedman: “So you’re on, we’re on the same wavelength here.

Marek: “Yeah.”

Friedman: “It’s, our picks aren’t different aside from location.

I look at it this way. Jake Guentzel is a, he’s a Midwest guy. Chicago is a Midwest location. Also, they do need to get players to play with (Connor) Bedard. Same reasons you just explained there. And I don’t konw, it’s just, it doesn’t seem insane to me and I don’t know if Chicago will look into, quote, unquote, accelerate the process as much as they realize they have to move things forward and they have to begin surrounding Bedard with some players that will allow him to showcase even more.

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So our rationales are similar we’re just picking different locations and I’m going with Chicago because the proximity to where Guentzel is from.”