Kyle Dubas speaks publicly about the Erik Karlsson trade, admits to being involved in a bidding war
BY MIKE ARMENTI AUGUST 7, 2023 (12:34)
Dubas met with the media on Monday to share his thoughts on the Karlsson deal, how lengthy of a process it was to get a deal done. He admitted that the deal didn't come together quickly, but addressed a glaring need for the organization.
Dubas was able to bring Karlsson in with a $10M AAV, as opposed to his full $11.5M cap hit in San Jose, which helps, but still doesn't leave a whole lot of room on the roster for more additions, as Dubas admitted on Monday.
The Penguins had missed the playoffs last season, which led many to question why Dubas began to bolster the team this summer rather than triggering a rebuild. Simply put; Dubas believed that with the players he has at his disposal, he could build around the core of Crosby, Malkin and Letang and piece together a winning team who is capable of getting it done in the postseason once again.
Dubas also revealed that he plans to do the same thing in Pittsburgh that he did in Toronto during his 5 years as GM of the Leafs; utilize waivers in order to maintain a certain level of roster flexibility. He also revealed that the Pens won't be operating with a 23-man roster.
Karlsson wasn't the only significant addition that Dubas made this summer. He also acquired forward Reilly Smith in a trade with the Vegas Golden Knights and signed defenseman Ryan Graves to a multi-year deal in free agency. These are some substantial moves that will undoubtedly help to improve and build on the foundation that was already in Pittsburgh before Dubas had signed on to be the team's President and GM.
Dubas also admitted on Monday that before the Karlsson deal was completed, he was concerned that another one of the teams who had shown interest in Karlsson would swoop in and nab him, pulling the rug right out from under Dubas' feet. That's likely why the Pens were so committed to getting the deal done on Sunday, whatever it took.
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