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Report: Penguins prefer prospects over picks for Guentzel

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Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas has his sights set on the return package he's seeking for Jake Guentzel, should he trade the star winger ahead of the March 8 deadline.

The Penguins prefer prospects over draft picks in exchange for Guentzel, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Prospects could theoretically make an impact sooner than draft picks and thus have a better chance of providing help for Sidney Crosby and the rest of Pittsburgh's aging core before they're gone.

Guentzel is arguably the most coveted rental player available ahead of the deadline. He entered Saturday with 52 points in 50 games this season. The 29-year-old also boasts a sterling playoff resume with 34 goals and 24 assists in 58 career postseason contests. He was part of the Penguins' last Stanley Cup triumph in 2017.

Pittsburgh hired Dubas as GM in June. The Penguins hoped to compete this season after landing reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson in the offseason, but they're on track to miss the playoffs for the second straight campaign.

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