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Kyle Dubas wanted to acquire Erik Karlsson in Toronto (before leaving the Leafs)

Kyle Dubas spoke to the media this week following the acquisition of Erik Karlsson. It didn’t take long for the Penguins’ new GM to put his stamp on the club, acquiring a defensive star who is probably the best player to join forces with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kristopher Letang.

Erik Karlsson’s case was not young, however, as the Sharks had been trying to trade the Swedish defenseman for quite some time.

Dubas got a bit carried away at his press conference. The former Maple Leafs GM, who was on the job as recently as two months ago, said that the process of acquiring Karlsson began before he joined the Penguins as president.

“It’s been a very long process dating back to my last job.”

-Kyle Dubas

Understandably, while at the helm of the Leafs, Kyle Dubas was already dreaming of adding the eventual Norris Trophy winner to his roster.

How did he do it? Would we have talked about a deal involving William Nylander, in order to free up salary, with additional compensation from the Sharks? Could the Toronto core have featured Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Erik Karlsson?

Considering the club’s salary situation, even before the departure of Dubas and the arrival of Brad Treliving, it’s intriguing to wonder about the logistics of a potential transaction between the Maple Leafs and the Sharks. We’re swimming in “what ifs”, but that’s usually the recipe for a good debate.

What’s most interesting in this case is that Dubas’ successor, Treliving, was also rumoured to be interested in acquiring the Swede’s services. The Penguins GM would probably have bitten his fingers if his former club had stolen the services of an impact defenseman he’d been targeting for a long time.

In a gust

– Absolutely incredible.

– Beautiful in red.

– Oh, Papa Newhook is excited!

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