TSN analyst Craig Button was explaining Wednesday why the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins are struggling and he had an extra dose of criticism for Penguins GM Kyle Dubas.
You can watch the TSN video here.
“He made the same significant error in Pittsburgh this past summer as he did in Toronto,” Button said on the sports network. “And that was signing a player they didn’t need. Not that Erik Karlsson isn’t a good player–he’s a heck of a player. Not that John Tavares wasn’t a good player, and he is a good player. They didn’t need them.”
Dubas didn’t sign Karlsson as a free agent. They acquired him and moved out Jeff Petry, Mikael Granlund, and Jan Rutta, none of which were in the Penguins’ plans. But that doesn’t changeButton’s position that the emphasis should have been on adding more depth, not another puck-moving defenseman. Kris Letang was handling that duty.
“You take $10 million and allocate it to a player you don’t need in Erik Karlsson,” Button continued. “He could have taken that money and built out the depth of his group. So, while Tampa Bay is trying to manage the talent drain, the attrition — Kyle Dubas had salary cap space.
“He had money to spend and didn’t spend it wisely.”
The Capitals have reportedly renewed their interest in free agent defenseman Ethan Bear https://t.co/nNQylRScba
— RMNB (@rmnb) December 8, 2023
Red Wings In Case You Missed it
- Patrick Kane had an opportunity to be the hero in his Red Wings’ debut. But his shot found iron instead of net.
- The Red Wings endured an epic defensive collapse in their home loss to the San Jose Sharks.
- Kane played with Joe Veleno and Alex DeBrincat in his first game with the Red Wings.
- Red Wings draft pick Kirill Tyutyayev found himself in trouble over firing a chicken nugget into the stands. You read that correctly.
Red Wings Next Game
The Red Wings were likely so disappointed by their performance in falling 6-5 to the San Jose Sharks and are no doubt pleased to only have 48 hours until they can redeem themselves. They play the Atlantic Division rival Ottawa Senators Saturday at Little Caesars Arena (7 p.m.). They are 1-1 against the Senators in two games in Ottawa this season. The Red Wings are 6-1-1 since coming back from Sweden, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. They have been sloppy defensively in three consecutive games, giving up 13 goals in those contests.
Hockey Now Network
Boston: The Boston Bruins‘ 3-1 loss to the Sabres had added consequence because No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy left in the third period with an upper body injury. Defenseman Derek Forbert was just placed on the long term injured reserve.
Calgary: Trevor Neufeld offers four reasons to feel good about the Calgary Flames even after their rocky start to December.
Chicago: Connor Bedard on goalie Petr Mrazek: “He’s been unreal.” Mrazek posted a 37-save shutout in helping the Chicago Blackhawks down the Anaheim Ducks, 1-0.
Montreal: The Canadiens’ loss to the Los Angeles Kings was a reality check showed them where they really are. Montreal Canadiens.
New Jersey: A report says the New Jersey Devils, searching for defensive help, have talked to free agent Ethan Bear. Several teams are interested, including the Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals.
Philadelphia: Jonathan Bailey writes that the Philadelphia Flyers, in particular Travis Konecny, looked unstoppable against the Coyotes. They are on another win streak.
Pittsburgh: TSN analyst Craig Button says Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas didn’t spend his cap space wisely last summer. That has contributed mightily to the Penguins ugly start.