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Report: Maple Leafs ‘could be players’ for Guentzel in free agency if they trade Marner

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
25 days ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs could be in the mix for pending unrestricted free agent forward Jake Guentzel if they trade Mitch Marner ahead of July 1, Daily Faceoff hockey insider Frank Seravalli indicated on Tuesday.
Writing in the latest edition of DFO’s Top 75 Free Agents board, Seravalli linked the Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers to the 29-year-old Guentzel, who just wrapped up a strong season split between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes.
“…[W]hen the clock strikes 12 noon ET on Canada Day, expect the Vancouver Canucks to make a strong play for pending free agent forward Jake Guentzel,” Seravalli wrote. “They won’t be alone – as there are more than a handful of teams expected to be in the mix for the Stanley Cup winning winger.
“If the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Mitch Marner, they could be players, as well as the Florida Panthers if they are not re-signing Sam Reinhart,” Seravalli added. “There will also be other teams such as the Washington Capitals or maybe even the New York Rangers, if they can find requisite cap space.”
Guentzel collected 30 goals and 77 points in 67 games with the Penguins and Hurricanes during the 2023-24 regular season, including 25 points in 17 games after the trade. He added four goals and nine points in 11 games with Carolina in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Hurricanes paid a high price to acquire Guentzel from Pittsburgh back in March, sending Michael Bunting, Vasili Ponomarev, Cruz Lucius, Ville Koivunen, and a second-round pick in exchange for the Omaha, Nebraska-born winger. If the Hurricanes reached the Stanley Cup Final, they would’ve sent their 2024 first-round pick to Pittsburgh instead of the second-rounder.
The Penguins originally selected Guentzel in the third round (No. 77 overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. The 5’11 forward has collected 227 goals and 491 points in 520 games over parts of eight NHL seasons, adding 38 goals and 67 points in 69 playoff games (and winning the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2017).
On Toronto’s side of the equation, Marner is entering the final year of his current contract, which carries a $10.903 million cap hit, and is coming off a highly disappointing playoff showing against the Boston Bruins. The Leafs also have a slew of players hitting the open market this year, including Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi, Joel Edmundson, Ilya Lyubushkin, and Ilya Samsonov.
Seravalli also hinted at the possibility of the Hurricanes working out a sign-and-trade deal with another interested team ahead of the start of free agency on July 1. The Hurricanes have the exclusive ability to offer Guentzel an eight-year contract until free agency opens.

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