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Countdown to TradeCentre: 'Ridiculous' price for Guentzel?


The NHL's March 8 Trade Deadline is approaching, and teams are making decisions on whether to buy or sell, and on which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value. Check out today's trade rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.

Penguins' price tag

Jake Guentzel has been sidelined since Feb. 14, but it appears interest in the pending unrestricted free agent has not wavered as he remains on track for a return near the trade deadline.

Guentzel, who continues to sit at No. 4 on the TSN Trade Bait board, skated Monday ahead of the Penguins' practice after initially receiving a timeline of "up to four weeks."

ESPN's Emily Kaplan reports the asking price for Guentzel from Penguins president and general manager Kyle Dubas is sky-high. 

"I've heard the asking price on Guentzel is multiple first-round picks (or a first-round pick and equivalent in top prospects or roster players)," Kaplan wrote. "One rival executive said 'the Guentzel asking price is ridiculous.'"

Guentzel, 29, was the team's leading scorer before his injury. He has 22 goals and 52 points in 50 games this season. 

Dubas confirmed last week that Guentzel could be a casualty as the Penguins try to manage keeping their core to complete while also getting younger. 

“I understand how valuable he’s been as a teammate, person in the community, contributor to helping the team win the Stanley Cup, and so on and so forth. It’s important,” Dubas told reporters. “But at the same time, we have to take stock with where we’re at and be realistic about the fact that one of the issues we have is we need to get younger. We have a lot of guys in their 30s signed, some of them are some of the best players in the history of the franchise.

“It’s tough with Jake, as I’ve said to him, because he’s an excellent player and playing at an elite level. We have to find a way to continue to have those solid veteran guys, but also continue to get younger at the same time.”

Winners of two straight, the Penguins sit nine points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final wild-card spot with five games in hand. Pittsburgh will open a four-game road trip on Tuesday against the Vancouver Canucks


Sharks not shopping Ferraro

While the San Jose Sharks are keeping all options open ahead of the deadline, the team is not actively shopping defenceman Mario Ferraro.

Ferraro's agent, Peter Wallen, told San Jose Hockey Now that Sharks general manager Mike Grier spoke to him on the blueliner's status last week. 

“Everybody is tradeable. But not looking to trade him actively,” Wallen surmised of the conversation via text.

Ferraro, 25, has one goal and 14 points in 52 games this season with the Sharks. He remains under contract through 2025-26 at a cap hit of $3.25 million. 

Selected by the Sharks in the second round of the 2017 draft, the Toronto native has 10 goals and 67 points in 304 career games.

While the Sharks are expected to be sellers at the deadline, Ferraro is not among the four members of the team of the TSN Trade Bait board. Anthony Duclair leads that list at No. 20 on the board, followed by Mikael Granlund at No. 25, goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen at No. 37 and Alexander Barabanov at No. 45. 

Duclair, Kahkonen and Barabanov are all pending unrestricted free agents, while Granlund remains signed through next season at a cap hit of $5 million. 

Eye on the Stars 

The Dallas Stars currently sit atop the Central Division and TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports adding a right-handed defenceman is atop general manager Jim Nill's wish list.  

LeBrun writes in The Athletic that the Stars have shown "strong interest" in Calgary Flames defenceman Chris Tanev, who sits at No. 3 on the TSN Trade Bait board. He notes other possibilities on the market include Matt Dumba of the Arizona Coyotes, Sean Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers and Anaheim Ducks blueliner Ilya Lyubushkin.

Nill confirmed to LeBrun that defence is a position of interest ahead of the deadline, but stopped shy of committing to making a move. 

“It’s fair,” Nill said of the assumption he's looking at the blueline. “We’ve got a solid 13 forwards up top already and then I know I’ve got a bunch of young guys down below. … Defence, you can never have enough defencemen. So that’s something we’re looking at.

"What’s the cost of acquisition - what’s the asset cost? That’s what we’re monitoring right now.”

Cap space could prove to be an issue for the Stars, with the team currently projected to have $1.52 million in deadline space, according to CapFriendly.