The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas as their new president of hockey operations, the club announced Thursday.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, Kyle Dubas!
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 1, 2023
After failing to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06, Pittsburgh axed the front office duo of Ron Hextall and Brian Burke in April, opening the door for Dubas to take the reigns. After a disappointing and tumultuous season for the Penguins, this hire will reset their front office.
The longtime Maple Leafs general manager found himself without a job after Brendan Shanahan unexpectedly decided to move on from Dubas in May. After Toronto's playoff exit, Dubas expressed a preference for staying with the team or taking time off, but the way he was dismissed by Shanahan clearly changed his thinking.
After much speculation about the executive's next move, he's settled in Pittsburgh.
"On behalf of my family, we are thrilled to join the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and all of the incredible people across Fenway Sports Group," said Dubas. "I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity that lies ahead of me. The ownership group, FSG leadership and the Penguins staff on the ground in Pittsburgh have been absolutely outstanding. Everyone has demonstrated a clear commitment to building a best-in-class hockey operation."
The Maple Leafs produced a 221-109-42 regular-season record under Dubas, but regularly underwhelmed in the playoffs with just one series win during his tenure.
He will join a Penguins team that has struggled to make deep postseason runs in recent years. Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2015-16 and 2016-17, Pittsburgh has only advanced past the first round once.
The Penguins still have the same core trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang that's delivered three championships since 2008-09, and Dubas will be tasked with giving them a shot of adding to their ring collection in the twilight of their careers.
When the 2023-24 season begins, Crosby, Malkin, and Letang will have a combined age of 109, but they remain effective players. Crosby and Malkin's collective point total last season was only 176 and Letang produced 41 points in 64 games while shouldering a massive workload (24:51 time on ice/game).
Dubas has some room to maneuver in his first offseason at the head of Pittsburgh's hockey operations department. The Pittsburgh Penguins project to have over $20 million in cap room, allowing the former Maple Leafs GM to retool on the fly.