Kyle Dubas might prefer Ottawa future to Pittsburgh present

Pittsburgh is keen for Kyle Dubas to accept their vacant genral manager position but the Penguins are in win-now mode with an aging core lead by Syndey Crosby. After five years building in Toronto, Dubas might prefer a longer-term project, such as the Ottawa Senators, who will soon be under new ownership.

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Let's start with Kyle Dubas and the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins are basically waiting on him to be their GM right now. Do you guys see Kyle Dubas as Pittsburgh Penguins GM, as Omar fumbles with something in the background? I'm not sure what that was.


JULIAN MCKENZIE: Oh, OK, all right. I know what you're preparing for. Avry, I'll start with you. Kyle Dubas, Penguins GM? Are we cap or no cap--



AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: On this show, on "Zone Time"--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yes, you did.

AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: --I floated the idea of Kyle Dubas as the Pittsburgh Penguins GM, and I was shouted down because we thought it was going to be Toronto or bust. I called it from jump. Money talks, opportunity knocks. People's opinions can change at a moment when the right job opens up. So yes, I wholeheartedly think Kyle Dubas to the Penguins as GM is very much in play for next season.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Man. I just-- it was like a whisper, and I thought that was some kind of weird bit of talking going on. And now the Penguins are actively waiting for him to make a decision. But I'll say this about Kyle Dubas-- I really want him to get a job with the Ottawa Senators, man. I really want that to get done. I want the ownership situation to get resolved however it gets resolved, and then they call up Kyle and they say, hey man, do you want to be president of hockey operations?

Pierre Dorion's OK, I guess, but let's get Kyle Dubas in. Let Kyle Dubas be in a position where he can run his boyhood team. He was not a Leafs fan growing up. He liked the Ottawa Senators. Let him be in-- let him cook with the Ottawa Senators. Let them do that. He get to stay in Ontario. All right, fine, a couple of hours east of Toronto, but he gets to-- he would get to be in charge of a team, again with new ownership, and that's on the cusp of being a perennial playoff team. Why wouldn't you take that opportunity?

I get it-- Sidney Crosby, Gino Malkin, Kris Letang. But they're at the end of their careers, man. You might get like one ring out of that. You have an opportunity-- all you have to do if your Kyle Dubas, as far as I'm-- OK, you know what, maybe it's not that far off. But I think if you're the Ottawa Senators and you're interested in Kyle Dubas, give him a phone call once you get your ownership stuff done. Omar, are you OK, buddy?

OMAR: Julian, I didn't even think about that.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: What do you mean you didn't-- you didn't think about the idea that Kyle Dubas could go to Ottawa?

OMAR: No. And see, that whole reaction-- because-- for those who are new to "Zone Time," Julian does this thing where he tries to piss me off. And I thought, OK, this is just another Julian pissing me off thing. And then I thought about it and you literally-- like, for those who are only listening, this would be-- this could be a good opportunity to watch it. You see in me the slow realization of wow, that's actually possible.

Because yeah, I've only heard Dubas going to Pittsburgh and all the talk about being there. He met with Sidney Crosby, apparently, at the practice facility, so it'll seem like a done deal. But yeah. Yeah. Ottawa would make a lot of sense, you know? They already have a GM. I mean--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: For the record, I mean, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh could very well get him, and that's what's been out there could happen. I'm just putting out there, I would like to see that reality happen. I'm not saying it--

OMAR: It would--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: --with any intel. It would be pretty fun.

OMAR: --make a lot more sense, right, because if-- assuming he's-- Dubas is taking the deal, he's going into a situation where there's no-- there's no process, there's no waiting. Like, you need to find a way to maximize that team for that one year. And I don't-- and he hasn't been in that position at all in the NHL. Like sure, this passing year with the Leafs was his first, like, go for it year, where he was like, OK, picks gone. But even some of the top prospects were moved or whatever.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: How was this year his first go for it year? What happened to the other years?

OMAR: That's my-- that's-- mm. Mm. They were-- those weren't necessarily go for it years. Those were just like, hey, let's add a piece, let's add some veteran stuff for the playoffs or whatever. But this was the first year where it's like, let's add in multiple pieces and legitimately try to build the team to make it to the Stanley Cup final. Obviously didn't work, but Dubas hasn't necessarily been in that position where it's like, you have an aging core and you have to do whatever it takes to add pieces around that aging core to get them to the promised land. And he hasn't been there before.

So I think it'd be more-- it'd be definitely new territory for him going into Pittsburgh this year, as opposed to going to Ottawa, who, if we're making the comparisons, they're kind of in that similar spot where the Leafs were when he took over as GM, where you had the young players, you had that core, you knew who the faces of the franchise were, and you kind of just needed to help give them that extra piece here or there to help them make the playoffs and go deep in the playoffs. So Ottawa, I think, would be more of the familiar, whereas Pittsburgh would be definitely new because you have to get them there. And then if that doesn't work this year, then you have to tear it all down.