Tag: Jared McCann

HBK Line 2.0; McCann-Crosby-Guentzel..

Something a lot of fans do not talk about is Jake Guentzel. The 3rd round 77th overall in the 2013 NHL draft. Guentzel emerged in 2016-2017 when he scored 16 goals with 33 points in 40 games and continued his tear in the playoffs scoring 21 points in 25 games. The next season Guentzel scored 48 points, 22 goals in 82 games.

Since Guentzel emergence in the NHL he has been able to form a bond with captain Sidney Crosby and the two have been near inseparable since Guentzel joined Pittsburgh in 2016-17. Crosby and Guentzel had solid 2017-18 playoff runs but fell short. They struggled to find a third line mate all season but after the Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad trade it seems they have found their third partner to help rally the Penguins.

One thing a lot of people credit the Penguins success to is Sidney Crosby byt Jake Guentzel has certainly been the main focal point of that lines success or could be an argument for being a major contributor to that McCann-Crosby-Guentzel success.

This season a lot of people clearly knew about Guentzel after his amazing playoff appearances and first 40 games in the NHL. But, not many fans had him on their radar as a potential 40+ goal scorer. On the year Guentzel has 36 goals in 71 games along with 68 points. Since the emergence of Jared McCann Guentzel has been on-fire, along with McCann himself. Since the February 1st acquisition of McCann, Guentzel has 12 goals in 21 games. The two paired up only a few games ago and since McCann has moved on the line of Guentzel and Crosby the three have propelled the Penguins to a top-three divisional spot and now definite playoff contenders.

Guentzel has not received the necessary praise due to McCann catching fire plus anytime you play with Crosby it is hard to stand out. Since February 19th Guentzel has 8 goals and 6 assists over 12-games. McCann has 5 goals and 4 assists in 12 games and Crosby has 8 goals and 12 assists in 12-games. The HBK line that helped surge the Penguins to their 2015-16 Stanley Cup could be in the making once again, this time with Guentzel-Crosby-McCann. They do not have a witty name like the HBK line but this trio could possibly be a huge deal breaker for the Penguins come playoff time.

Right now the Penguins are looking to be playing the Islanders. Their first round will not be an easy opponent no matter what but with the veteran ship of the Penguins and now their offense finally starting to pick up they could be a force to be wrecking with come April…

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NHL TRADE: Panthers Send Nick Bjugstad & Jared McCann To Penguins For Derick Brassard And More

The typical Penguins move, always ahead of the curve always a deadline move and always a move that improves their roster at the perfect time. The Panthers in this case do not necessarily improve their roster right now but they do receive three draft picks.

The full trade breakdown is right here…

Panthers receive: Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, 2019 2nd round pick, and two 2019 4th round picks

Penguins receive: Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

Also to note neither team ends up retaining any salary in this deal. Which means the Panthers take Brassard and Sheahan’s contract and Penguins take on Bjugstad and McCann’s contract.

Who wins the deal? 

Right now we have to say the Penguins they add some better and younger forward depth, while Brassard and Sheahan are considered forward depth the Penguins definitely upgrade adding Bjugstad and McCann. Bjugstad is a potential 40 point player, despite struggling this year with just 12 points in 32 games he has put up four 35+ point seasons in his career. McCann is a solid bottom six forward who can bring you the same as Sheahan but potentially more down the road as McCann is just 22-years-old and is a former first round (24th overall) pick. McCann has played 46 games this year collecting 18 points, and on pace for his best year yet.

The Panthers do walk away with getting rid of Bjugstad at a 4.1 million annual value (AAV) and McCann’s 1.25 million hit, while Brassard is a 3 million AAV and Sheahan is a 2.5 million AAV the difference is small. BUT the Panthers have already said to be in rumors of moving Brassard before the deadline which means they can free up his 3 million AAV and anywhere from 4.5-6.5 million in cap space for the off-season.

Penguins (potential) forward lines now:

Jake Guentzel- Sidney Crosby- Dominik Simon (or Nick Bjugstad)

Bryan Rust- Evgeni Malkin- Phil Kessel

Tanner Pearson– Nick Bjugstad (Or Jared McCann)- Patrick Hornqvist

Chad Ruhwedel- Jared McCann(Matt Cullen)- Garrett Wilson (or Dominik Simon)

My guess is the Penguins slot Bjugstad with Crosby and Guentzel, keep the second line together slot McCann on the third line with Pearson and Hornqvist and then have Cullen Ruhwedel and Simon on the fourth line.