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Kyle Dubas: the DG under his tutelage risks being a “puppet”.

More and more in the NHL, the hiring of a single general manager is becoming less and less popular. Indeed, in recent years, presidents of field hockey operations (we’ll call them POHs in the text for ease of reading) have greatly helped to lighten the load for GMs.

However, many believe that general managers are merely present in front of the media, and that POHs make the majority of decisions.

When Kent Hughes was hired by the Montreal Canadiens, many thought that he was merely the French-speaking figure in the team’s management, while Jeff Gorton would be in charge of the majority of decisions.

We can assume that this is not very true, as I personally believe that the two of them are doing an excellent job together.

However, during an episode of the 32 Toughts Podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman, the two insiders discussed the situation of Kyle Dubas, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new POH.

Around the 19-minute mark, Friedman says he strongly believes that Kyle Dubas will make all or most of the decisions in Pittsburgh. This would make his GM a mere puppet.

I strongly invite you to listen to the entire episode, right here.

It’s a bold statement, though, because to say that the general manager would be useless is a bit far-fetched.

I understand Friedman’s point, because Dubas is hungry for victory and will do anything to do better than the Toronto Maple Leafs next season.

An interesting comparison Marek brings is the Vancouver Canucks with Jim Rutherford (POH) and Patrik Allvin (DG).

“Technically, Patrik Allvin was the general manager, but we all know that it was Jim Rutherford who made all the transactions. That’s what we expect to see from Pittsburgh with Dubas.” – Jeff Marek

Friedman also adds that Dubas and the Penguins, or the Fenway Sports group that owns the franchise, will want to add a third person to management to fill the last of the organization’s three vacant positions.

He believes they’ll want to add someone fresh and new, and the name that seems most plausible would be Jason Spezza, joining his former GM.

However, as Friedman explains around 9:30 p.m., Toronto could technically block his hiring by the Pens. On the other hand, he could instead be hired by the Fenway Group to get around the situation, since it’s a company in its own right.

We’ll have a better idea of the impact of the Pens’ next GM next season.

In Brief

– Bedard is already surrounded by trophies.

– The killer question: Rest versus rust.

– Ouch!

– After winning Game 1 of the Finals, the Denver Nuggets coach believes his team didn’t play well enough.

– Connor Bedard’s Blackhawks uniform will have to wait.

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