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Report: Hurricanes discussing contracts with Guentzel, Skjei

Josh Lavallee / National Hockey League / Getty

The Carolina Hurricanes continue to have discussions with pending unrestricted free agents Jake Guentzel and Brady Skjei, reports The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.

Carolina landed Guentzel from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade-deadline splash. The 29-year-old winger was a seamless fit with the Hurricanes, producing 25 points in 17 games after the deal. He also added four goals and five assists in 11 playoff games.

There's reportedly mutual interest in an extension, as the two parties have already had multiple discussions. Guentzel, who's averaged 36 goals per 82 games and tallied 38 goals in 69 career postseason contests, is in line for a sizeable payday.

Skjei has been with the Hurricanes for five seasons and is coming off a career-high 47-point campaign. The 30-year-old boasts good size at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and has developed into a stellar two-way defenseman over the last few seasons. Contract talks have reportedly been ongoing since last summer.

However, if Skjei does return to Carolina, it may be without his defense partner of the last few seasons. The Hurricanes have been at a standstill with blue-liner Brett Pesce for nearly 10 months, and the two sides are apart on both term and salary, reports LeBrun.

Pesce has spent his entire nine-year NHL career in Raleigh. While he's not as offensively gifted as Skjei, he's very steady defensively. He also shoots right and brings some size at 6-foot-3, 206 pounds.

The Hurricanes are currently without a full-time general manager after Don Waddell resigned on Friday. Eric Tulsky is serving as interim GM amid a search for Waddell's replacement.

But whoever takes over for Waddell permanently stands to have a busy summer on their hands, as the club has several other notable pending UFAs, including Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen, and Jalen Chatfield. Their list of restricted free agents includes Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas, and Jack Drury.

One key piece of internal business has already been taken care of, as the Hurricanes re-signed head coach Rod Brind'Amour to a multi-year deal Sunday.

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