With a return to play still a ways away, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is optimistic left winger Jake Guentzel will be available to play if plays resumes later this summer.

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Guentzel’s timeline from shoulder surgery was originally 4-6 months. June 1st will mark 5 months into the recovery. By the time training camps open under the best case scenario’s, Guentzel would be in the six month recovery timeframe.

Guentzel has an injury where doctors often feel a full six-seven months is needed to properly heal and there’s been players in the past who have had similar surgeries where it takes them 9-12 months before they feel close to 100% normal again.

In his fourth NHL season, Guentzel had 20 goals and 23 assists over 39 games as he’s emerged as one of the premier left wingers in hockey.

The addition of Jason Zucker and the likely return of Guentzel will give Pittsburgh a strong 1-2 punch down the left side. Guentzel is always a favorite of Sidney Crosby’s to play with but the chemistry Crosby and Zucker developed prior to the shutdown will allow the Penguins coaching staff to plug Guentzel right back with Malkin.