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“If there’s one player on the market who can replace Guentzel in Pittsburgh, it’s Jonathan Drouin.”
Credit: Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Jonathan Drouin will continue to be the talk of the town for as long as he remains a free agent.

After failing in Montreal, he revived his career with his good friend Nathan MacKinnon in Colorado. We know that both sides (the Avalanche and the Quebecer) have mutual interest, but that it will take a discounted signing for a reunion.

Frank Seravalli has predicted a $20 million contract for the forward, but I don’t think the Avalanche will offer him such an amount. Will any team offer him that kind of money? Former Sportsnet reporter Dan Kingerski, who currently covers the Penguins, seems pretty convinced that he’s due a four-season, $5 million contract.

His comments were made in a recent article on PGH Hockey Now.

He also said that if there’s one player on the free agent market who can fill the hole left by Jake Guentzel in Pittsburgh, it’s the Quebecer.

I don’t want to contradict a journalist far more credible than me, but Drouin is no Guentzel, far from it.

Since the 2018-2019 season, the current Hurricanes forward has been flirting with or exceeding a point per game every season. The Quebecer, who signed a contract bordering on the minimum wage last summer, has collected 50 points in a season on just three occasions.

I understand he’s coming off his best campaign ever, but he’s no Guentzel, who’s expected to sign a contract in the $8-9 million range.

As for Drouin, chances are good he’ll get along with the Avalanche, as Pierre LeBrun pointed out, but if he’s wrong, we’ll have to keep an eye on the Penguins. They’re looking for talent and the Quebecer could be a great option, without replacing Guentzel 100%.

He’d be the right kind of high-IQ playmaker to fill the position alongside Sidney Crosby, according to Kingerski.

In any case, I don’t know whether Kyle Dubas, who wants draft picks above all, will be tempted to go all out for next season or quietly begin a rebuild/reset. Stay tuned.

In brief

– What an athlete, that Aleksander Barkov.

– Weird that the Cup is here.

– It’s not just the Habs asking strange questions.

– Ah bon.

– Nice read.

– Big loss.

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