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Mathieu Darche’s name seems to be very, very popular in Pittsburgh.
Mathieu Darche has just completed his fourth year as Director of Hockey Operations with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He has the opportunity to gobble up some experience while watching Julein BriseBois go from strength to strength, so that one day, he’ll be able to land an NHL GM job. And that day could come sooner rather than later.

In fact, right now, he seems to be a very, very popular candidate for Pittsburgh’s vacant GM position. Elliotte Friedman told his podcast this morning that the Quebecer was on the verge of getting the job with the Penguins…

But now that we know that Kyle Dubas won’t be back at the helm of the Leafs, plans have changed.

Darren Dreger revealed in the last few hours that the Fenway Group, which owns the club, has received permission to discuss and negotiate with Dubas. This comes as no surprise, as we already knew of the Penguins’ interest in the former Leafs GM.

But the discussion is interesting in that Darche is the only one named by Friedman as one of the “finalists” for the general manager’s job. I have a feeling it will come down to the Quebecer and Dubas… And I don’t think it will be long before an announcement is made.

Our colleague Charles-Alexis Brisebois mentioned it in one of his texts this morning, but it should be noted that there is a world in which the Penguins simply appoint a “field hockey boss” instead of a president. This would allow the team to have some leeway in the sense that, if one of the NHL teams is courting an employee of any kind…

The Penguins could promote that employee to GM so as not to lose him. The field hockey boss, in that case, could be promoted to president.

In short.

Right now, it’s a little hard to imagine one of the two men we’ve been talking about (Darche and Dubas) not landing in Pittsburgh in the near future. Basically…

Maybe it’s Dubas who will have Darche’s fate in his hands. I think it’s Dubas who’s in the driver’s seat right now, in the sense that he’s being prioritized above everyone else in Pittsburgh right now.

And, if the former Leaf doesn’t “fit the bill” for whatever reason, I’m sure Darche will finally get his chance to make his mark as a GM in the NHL.

After all, he came very close to the GM position in Anaheim last year. He was also one of the serious candidates when the Canadiens and Hawks were looking for a new point man, and this indicates that he’s very close.

We’ll be keeping an eye on him in the coming days. But, as I said earlier, I don’t think it will be long before we have more details.

Breaking news

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– Well deserved.

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