Jake Guentzel has been an absolutely phenomenal add for the Carolina Hurricanes, adding another weapon to one of the Eastern Conference's best teams. And although the American will be focusing on a potentially deep postseason run with the Canes in 2024, he could be headed for a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins this offseason.

In fact, “it would be a stunner” if the Pens didn't at least open communication to potentially bring Guentzel back to Pennsylvania, hockey insider Elliotte Friedman stated on Saturday.

It would certainly make sense for Pittsburgh to look at potentially signing Guentzel, especially considering what the player means to the city. Besides being a crucial piece of the 2017 Stanley Cup championship team, he was locked at the hip with Sidney Crosby for almost a decade and remains a top forward in the National Hockey League.

The 29-year-old scored at above a point-per-game clip while with the Penguins in 2023-24, amassing 22 goals and 52 points in 50 games before suffering an injury that kept him out for 15 games.

But the former University of Nebraska Omaha Maverick picked up right where he left off in Raleigh.

Jake Guentzel has been terrific for Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20) and Carolina Hurricanes center Jake Guentzel (59) talk against the New York Islanders during the first period in game one of the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Playing on a top line with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis, along with the top powerplay unit, Guentzel has continued to thrive in 2023-24. Fresh off his injury, he scored another eight goals and 25 points in just 17 regular-season contests.

He could be the Hurricanes' X-factor as they look to finally get over the Eastern Conference Final hump and reach the sport's ultimate series for the first time since 2006.

For Penguins fans, it's bittersweet watching such an important piece of the franchise have success with a Metropolitan Division rival. But it seems clear that Kyle Dubas and the front office will at least entertain the possibility of bringing Guentzel back.

“There is no question that bringing back Guentzel would make sense for the Pens. He was Sidney Crosby's right-hand man while with the Penguins, and it would be great for them to bring him back because of it,” wrote NHL Trade Rumors' Michael DeRosa on Saturday.

“Along with that, the Penguins are looking to get back to being a contender, and bringing back a player like Guentzel would help them with their efforts. We will need to wait and see what happens with Guentzel from here. It is clear that the Hurricanes want to keep him around, but if they can't reach a new deal, look for Pittsburgh to target him heavily in July.”

Dubas was in a tight spot with Guentzel getting injured before the deadline, and moving him to a contender was probably the right move. Whether or not he could have been the difference in the Penguins advancing to the postseason — after missing by mere points — in 2024 is unknown.

But it's clear that there's as of yet no offer in place to keep Guentzel in Carolina after the playoffs, and it wouldn't be surprising if the Penguins were at the top of the list of suitors come July 1.