Penguins to ask for permission to talk to former Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas

Elliotte Friedman discusses the latest news surrounding the Maple Leafs GM search, how the Dubas extension ultimately crumbled, and how other teams are responding following the news.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to reach out and ask for permission to speak to former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday.

Leafs president and alternate governor Brendan Shanahan announced Friday that the club had decided to “part ways” with Dubas with his contract set to expire on June 30.

The Penguins need to hire a new general manager and president of hockey operations after firing Ron Hextall and Brian Burke after missing out on the playoffs.

The team has begun conducting interviews and has already interviewed upwards of a dozen candidates for the GM role.

“Pittsburgh has deepened their search. There was a chance I think we could know next week. But at the very least now I think they’re going to reach out and gauge what his interest is,” Friedman said on Hockey Night in Canada. “I don’t know what the answer to that question is. But I do think the Penguins are going to reach out to at least get permission to talk to him and see where he is.”

Marc Bergevin, the former Montreal Canadiens GM and current advisor to Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake, plus former Edmonton Oilers GM and current St. Louis Blues VP of hockey ops Peter Chiarelli were among the candidates interviewed by the Penguins, Friedman reported earlier this week.

Friedman reports that there was a lot of shock within the Leafs organization following the news that Dubas would not be returning as general manager.

“On Wednesday, there was a big meeting between the coaches, some of the executives about how to make the team better and Dubas was there and he was running it.” Friedman said. “I think a lot of people thought that was for sure a sign staying.

“One thing I had heard that Dubis had proposed was streamlining the decision-making process of the organization. I don’t necessarily mean think that means that he was going to cut out Shanahan or anything like that. But I heard that he found that it was too slow like it was Dubas, Shanahan, the board then come all the way back down, and I did hear he proposed something where they could try to do this stuff a lot faster.”

Former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving has received permission to talk to both Toronto and Pittsburgh for their vacant position, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis reported.

When it comes to what the Leafs want in their next general manager, Friedman said it’s someone who isn’t shy about making the tough calls.

“They are looking for a GM with some bite, a GM who won’t be afraid to make decisions,” Friedman explained. “There are some big decisions to make that they have coming up. It doesn’t appear likely that Auston Matthews will sign by July 1, that’s not their only concern but it’s one of their biggest things that they will have to navigate.”

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