Following reports that the Pittsburgh Penguins were seeking an opportunity to reach out to former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, follow-up news on Monday adds that the Penguins have been given permission to speak with the now-free agent. The Penguins will make their pitch and see if Dubas has an interest in getting back into the game, despite comments he said he “didn’t have it in him” to pop up with another team.
Of course, a lot of things can change in a matter of 72 hours. When Dubas said he was leaning more toward taking a break from the NHL than he would be joining another organization, he was still technically working on an extension with the Maple Leafs. Things fell apart and Brendan Shanahan addressed the media with a narrative that didn’t exactly paint Dubas in the most motivated of lights. Perhaps Dubas will have a change of heart now that the Leafs’ job is off of the table.
Darren Dreger of TSN reports, “The Fenway Group, owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to have been granted permission to speak with ex-Leafs GM Kyle Dubas.” It is expected those conversations will happen imminently, and if Dubas is interested, it will likely leak quickly that he’s the top candidate and could be their next general manager, if not also the President of Hockey Operations.
Clearly, the Penguins are serious about Dubas. Elliotte Friedman noted on the 32 Thoughts podcast that the organization was close to finding a GM and they were expected to announce someone early this week. With Dubas potentially available, the club has shifted gears and it is expected they will hear him out and if Dubas is open to making a move, will put on the full-court press.
It has been reported that one of the sticking points for Dubs in Toronto was the lack of autonomy he felt he had to make key decisions in Toronto. In every walk of life or big business deal, there’s a pecking order and some approvals are needed. But, the level that Shanahan apparently got involved did not make Dubas happy and their relationship became strained as a result. In Pittsburgh, it’s not believed Dubas would face those same challenges.
Sure, there would be multiple people involved if Dubas were to explore the idea of a Sidney Crosby trade or moving Evgeni Malkin or Kris Letang, but if the Penguins are hiring Dubas for this role, they’re doing so because they believe in his vision.
Next: Turmoil in Toronto: Shanahan Prevented Multiple Dubas Decisions
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