The Pittsburgh Penguins officially announced Kyle Dubas as President of Hockey Operations on Thursday. While the Stanley Cup Final is the main event going on in the NHL right now, the news of Dubas going to Pittsburgh is definitely big for the future of the Penguins.
Penguins get it right adding Kyle Dubas as President of Hockey Operations
The Penguins finished outside of the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Their 40-31-11 record was not good enough to get into the playoffs, and it was in their own hands down to the final days of the season with the team losing to Chicago and Columbus to end the season.
Pittsburgh’s big guns were still at their best this year. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin led the Penguins in points with 93 and 83 respectively. They had a pretty good top six with guys like Jake Guentzel, Rickard Rakell and Jason Zucker playing alongside Malkin and Crosby, but the team still fell short of making it in.
Goaltending has been a big issue for the Penguins the past few years, and Dubas will now get to have an impact on how the team will move forward in that regard as Tristan Jarry is set to become a free agent on July 1.
A new era now begins with Kyle Dubas as President of Hockey Ops. With Malkin, Crosby and Kris Letang, all signed for the foreseeable future, this team is still as committed to winning now as they were when they won back to back cups in 2016 and 2017.
This is the right move for Pittsburgh. Kyle Dubas did all that he could in Toronto to put a winning team on the ice. During his five seasons as GM, the Maple Leafs went 221-109-42 good enough for a .651 points percentage. While the Maple Leafs did not win a series until this past postseason, Dubas compiled very impressive rosters and at the end of the day, the players on the ice were the ones who couldn’t get it done in some very close series over the years.
Pittsburgh now has a President of Hockey Operations who knows how to find talent that can compliment guys like Crosby and Malkin. The Maple Leafs never struggled to put together an effective bottom six, which is something the Penguins are desperate for entering 2023-24.
It will be interesting to see how Kyle Dubas hits the ground running in Pittsburgh. His new team is set to draft in the first round for just the third time since 2015. The Penguins also have a third round pick from New Jersey, seventh round picks from Florida and Toronto as well as their own fifth, sixth and seventh round picks to look forward to at the upcoming 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville.