Jake Guentzel may have already played his last game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. After spending his entire career in Pennsylvania, the future of the superstar is in the hands of Kyle Dubas and the Pens front office ahead of the Mar. 8 NHL Trade Deadline.

With Pittsburgh seven points out of a playoff spot and Guentzel set to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, it could be the end of the road for one of the best Penguins players of the last decade.

And that isn't easy for the 29-year-old — not at all.

“It's a lot more than you think it is,” Guentzel told The Athletic's Rob Rossi on Thursday. “It's moving everything. You're changing your whole lifestyle. You're meeting a bunch of new people, and if you've got a family … it's just a lot. Then you've got to go play hockey, right?

“There's a different system, different guys to learn how to play with, where to go eat. It just seems like a lot of organizations are different in every aspect. How teams travel is different. You've got to get new gear – like, I don't like new gloves. That seems like a small thing, but I really don't like wearing new gloves. So it's something you think about in the back of your mind.”

Penguins looking for youth; Guentzel isn't getting any younger

Guentzel will be due for a massive raise from the $6 million AAV he is making in 2023-24, and that just might not work for Dubas, especially as he looks to make the roster younger.

“It’s a business, and I think every player realizes that at some point,” Guentzel explained back in January.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a hard part of the business — like, you kind of grow up with an organization, and then you don’t know what’s next. That’s not fun for anyone. I think you tell yourself to focus on what you can control. That’s what I’m trying to do. But, yeah, that’s not always easy to do, right? Like, it’s not just about you and playing hockey.”

Without a doubt, Guentzel is the biggest rental forward on the market, and he's drawn significant interest from across the league. That includes the Vancouver Canucks, who are rumored to be putting together a massive package for the American. It makes sense; he's a two-time 40-goal scorer with a proven track record of playoff success and a very impressive 52 points in 50 games in 2023-24.

But currently dealing with an upper-body ailment that will keep him out until Mar. 10, the No. 77 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft has potentially played his last game with the only franchise he's ever known.

“I don't know if you can get away from it,” he reflected. “And if you want to stay, that doesn't make dealing with it any easier. I think it makes it harder. I’m just trying to play hockey. There’s nothing I can really do. It’s out of my control. I just want to win here while I’m here.”

Whether or not Jake Guentzel remains a Pittsburgh Penguin on Mar. 9 is the No. 1 story ahead of the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline.