Less than two weeks after officially being let go by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kyle Dubas is set to re-emerge in Pittsburgh this week. Almost immediately after news broke that he was out in Toronto, the Penguins and their ownership Fenway Sports Group were all over reaching out to Dubas about a position with the Pens.
After a few days of considering his options and future, Dubas has agreed to jump in with the Penguins as the President of Hockey Operations.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, Kyle Dubas!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 1, 2023
The fit makes sense for what FSG sought: Dubas was the Toronto GM from 2018-23, prior to that he was an assistant in Toronto and built a championship winning team. Prior to that he was in the OHL and also collected a lot of talent to build a great junior team. Dubas, 37, is young and at the forefront of the information age of hockey analytics and considered one of the brightest minds in the sport.
From the moment he was available, it doesn’t seem a stretch that Dubas was the most important figure to the Pens. They wanted him, and they must have made a strong move in terms of decision making control (which Dubas didn’t fully have in Toronto) and money to make it work.
The next task for Dubas will be to see what he can do in the late-stage Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin years in an attempt to stay relevant as the Pens’ icons continue to approach the end of their careers.
Presumably the team will now look to hire a general manager to work in conjunction with Dubas. The splits of duties and power remains unknown, but it’s likely given the title of the role that Dubas is coming in with that he will be the ultimate decision maker in executing his vision for the future of the Pens.
Update: here are some details starting to emerge from the hiring:
Kyle Dubas has been named President of Hockey Operations. He will oversee all aspects of the Penguins hockey operations department, including establishing the strategic vision and philosophy for the franchise. https://t.co/bQbSgdmPnZ— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) June 1, 2023
A portion of the team’s press release:
“We are thrilled to welcome Kyle to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Throughout his career, Kyle has proven himself as a forward-thinking hockey mind and embodies all of the qualities - integrity, intelligence, and an unwavering commitment to building a winning culture - that we value in a leader at the Penguins and within Fenway Sports Group. We have done exhaustive work narrowing down candidates throughout this process, but it did not take long to be impressed by Kyle, the reputation he’s cultivated for himself in and around the National Hockey League, and his vision for the organization on and off the ice. His passion for the sport and ability to foster collaborative relationships with his staff, coaches and players is the type of leadership style that will undoubtedly resonate with the front office and set us on a new path for success in the near-term with our current championship-caliber core and beyond with a commitment to sustainable, long-term success.”
Dubas spent the previous nine seasons as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, including the last five as general manager. At the time of his hiring in 2018, Dubas became the second-youngest general manager in NHL history at age 32.
“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.”