Thu, Mar 7, 2024 at 11:30pm


The Carolina Hurricanes acquired winger Jake Guentzel and defenseman Ty Smith from the Pittsburgh Penguins for winger Michael Bunting, forwards Ville Koivunen, Vasily Ponomarev and Cruz Lucius, a conditional second-round draft pick in 2024 and a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2024.

What does it give the Carolina Hurricanes
This is the big trade piece that hockey fans were waiting to be moved, and it is the Hurricanes who stepped up and added Guentzel to their mix. Carolina has Stanley Cup aspirations, so adding a proven playoff performer like Guentzel is massive. The 'Canes gave up a lot to get him, but they will not mind one bit if they can (finally) hoist the Cup for the first time since 2006.

What does it give the Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins are in unfamiliar territory these days. Usually, they are buyers. This year, they are trading away the biggest chip on the block in Guentzel. That said, the return for a pending unrestricted free agent is quite good. While Pittsburgh is going to miss Guentzel's scoring ability, the prospects added (and future draft pick) should greatly help the franchise going forward.

Fantasy impact
Guentzel is clearly losing fantasy value after this trade because he was joined at the hip next to Sidney Crosby for a very long time. If Guentzel signs an extension with the Hurricanes (which is rumored), he is a great fantasy trade candidate for current Guentzel owners. Bunting was nowhere near as productive in Carolina as he had been in Toronto, so perhaps a change of scenery (and a chance to play next to either Crosby or Evgeni Malkin) will help him. That said, take a wait-and-see approach with him. Koivunen, Ponomarev and Lucius are all solid forward prospects who could become part of Pittsburgh's retooling process in the near future. They are all now on the keeper radar. Smith could be an option for the 'Canes next season if they lose Brett Pesce to unrestricted free agency. He is more of an offensive defenseman, but also the type of reclamation project that Carolina values (and are usually successful with).

Player focus

Pittsburgh Penguins

Michael Bunting LW

Ville Koivunen LW/RW

Vasily Ponomarev C

Cruz Lucius RW

conditional draft pick - Round 2 in 2024

conditional draft pick - Round 5 in 2024