New Penguins president Dubas to handle GM duties on an ‘interim basis’

Nick Kypreos joins Sportsnet Central to discuss former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas' move to become President of Hockey Operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, how Brad Treliving's approach will differ as Maple Leafs' GM, and more.

The Pittsburgh Penguins hired former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas as the team’s new president of hockey operations Thursday.

But for the time being, it won’t be the only title he holds with the club.

The Penguins are also searching for a new general manager, and at Dubas’ introductory press conference Thursday, he explained that he would handle the GM duties until they can find someone fit for that position.

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“My intention is I will handle that on an interim basis through July,” Dubas said. “And then will go through candidates and make the decision that is best for the hockey department.”

Dubas also explained how, because of the timing, the real search might not begin until July because many current executives’ contracts run through the end of June. He also made it clear that when they do look for someone, they will look for a forward-thinking candidate.

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“With it being June 1, might be tough to get permissions,” Dubas said. “If we do go down that path, we’ll look for someone progressive.”

The hiring of Dubas comes just weeks after the Penguins dismissed general manager Ron Hextall, director of hockey operations Brian Burke and assistant general manager Chris Pryor after the club failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in 17 years.

He takes over the NHL’s oldest team that hasn’t made it past the first round since 2018.

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The team does still have core pieces in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, and Crosby told Dubas, according to the new GM, that “his only desire is to win.”

And as far as whether Dubas thinks this Penguins’ core can still win another Stanley Cup: “I’m going to bet on them.”

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