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What Kyle Dubas Brings To Pittsburgh

Image: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New President of Hockey Operations in Pittsburgh

Late Thursday morning, it was announced Kyle Dubas will be the new President of Hockey Operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He replaces Brian Burke after just two mere seasons. Dubas has been the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs since May of 2018.

What Kyle Dubas Brings To The Pittsburgh Penguins

Dubas is very analytically driven which has never been apart of the Penguins front office. Late November of this season, Fenway Sports Group who also owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, reached an agreement with Mario Lemieux to buy the Penguins. The Fenway Sports Group made it evident they want the Penguins to be more analytically driven. Dubas checks off a major box in that department.

He is just 37 years old while Burke is 67 and former general manager Ron Hextall is 57. Although, Dubas has way less experience than those two, his ability to know and understand hockey analytics has allowed him to have great success in Toronto always putting out championship caliber roster.

Dubas’s Teams Success

Before this season, the Maple Leafs have not made it out of the first round since 2004. Four out of the six years as general manager, they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. In 2020, the COVID-19 playoffs, they were eliminated in the qualifying round and this past season they were eliminated in the second round. However, all six of those seasons, the Maple Leafs were competitive and could have easily made a deep playoff run.

Why President of Hockey of Operations and Not GM?

On Monday, Dubas emphasized that he does not know if he will be general manager again due to the stress on his young family. He has two kids a son and a daughter. However, until the Penguins find a general manager, he will be the interim general manager. The Penguins are in no rush and are looking to have a general manager around July.

Goals With The Penguins

In his brief conversations with head coach Mike Sullivan and captain Sidney Crosby, is committed to helping the Penguins win their sixth Stanley Cup. He is committed to the top-six however, the bottom-six needs work. With little to no cap space, shaping the roster may be a little difficult. Two guys that could be traded to shed cap space are Mikael Granlund and Jeff Petry. Jeff Carter should also be shipped off or bought out. Both were awful trades made by Hextall.

Responsible for the Core Four

Kyle Dubas was responsible for putting together the Maple Leafs core four of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander. That core four is some of the best offensive talent the league has to offer.

Some of Dubas’s Best Moves

Throughout Dubas’s time, he has made a lot of moves. Some of his best moves have been signing Tavares and defenseman T.J. Brodie. He has also made some great trades including acquiring Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell from the Seattle Kraken. Another great trade was acquiring Zach Hyman and a 2017 seventh round pick from the Florida Panthers for Greg McKegg.

Most Likely GM Candidates

Two candidates that could be great general managers are Cam Lawrence and Jason Spezza. Lawrence lives in Pittsburgh and is an analytic consultant for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lawrence would be a solid option as he specializes in analytics which is something Fenway Sports Group wants.

Spezza is another interesting option as he was the special assistant to Dubas in Toronto. He resigned with Toronto the same day it was announced Dubas would not be returning as general manager. Dubas and Spezza could be reuniting but this time in Pittsburgh with each earning a promotion.

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