Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dave Molinari writes this week that new Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas is winning over his skeptics, including him.
The Penguins had a collection of quality candidates for the vacant GM job after Ron Hextall was fired. But when the Toronto Maple Leafs said they weren’t bringing back Dubas, the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership team scooped up Dubas like he were a 50-goal scorer.
Thus far, it looks like a smart move. Of course, the Penguins haven’t played a game yet with Dubas in command.
“Adding (Doug) Wilson (as an advisor) was just the latest in a series of shrewd moves Dubas has made during his first three-plus months in the organization,” Molinari wrote, “most of which will be evident on the ice during the coming season.”
Molinari: That’s not to suggest that Dubas’ judgment is infallible. He did, for example, acquire former Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (and his $6.25 million salary-cap hit) from Ottawa last summer in an ill-fated attempt to upgrade and stabilize Toronto at that position.
The answer about whether either the Penguins or Maple Leafs made the right decision won’t be known until after the upcoming season. The Penguins brought Dubas in with a mandate to get this team in the playoffs. If he does that, it was the right move. The competitive window on this team won’t be much longer, given the age of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Meanwhile, Toronto fans will be curious to see if Brad Treliving can figure out way to push the Maple Leafs farther along in the postseason. Dubas wasn’t able to do that.
Red Wings’ Offseason
The Red Wings’ first game at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against the Dallas Stars at the Molon Rink.
Red Wings’ In Case You Missed It
- Red Wings 2023 first-round pick Axel Sandin Pellikka generated a goal and an assist for Skelleftea in a 5-3 win against Tappara in Champions League play.
- Slava Kozlov says the Red Wings’ ‘Russian Five’ unit might not work today because the game is different. The Russian Five’s playing style was unique when it was dominating.
- Detroit’s Dmitri Buchnelnikov is off to a strong start in Russia’s second division league.
Hockey Now Network
Chicago: With all of the hoopla surrounding Connor Bedard, don’t forget about Chicago Blackhawks prospect Frank Nazar. The University of Michigan player has some magic in his game.
Florida: Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman talked to NHL coaches and GMs Friday. What does this mean for a possible return to the NHL? Quenneville resigned as Florida Panthers‘ coach after meeting with commissioner Gary Bettman about the Chicago Blackhawks’ controversy when he was Chicago coach. Stan Bowman was the GM at the time.
Pittsburgh: Dan Kingerski projects the Pittsburgh Penguins’ line combinations for the start of the 2023-24 season.
Washington: Ivan Miroshnichenko’s deadly shot gives him the honor of being the Washington Capitals‘ second-best prospect.