Pens President and Interim GM Kyle Dubas preparing to take one of the biggest swings of his career

Mike Armenti
July 20, 2023  (10:06)

During his time in Toronto, Kyle Dubas did manage to make some pretty bold moves, but unfortunately, none of them seemed to pay off. There were other times where a player became available that Leafs Nation was hoping he'd take a swing on, but that swing never came. Now in Pittsburgh, Dubas appears to be pushing to make arguably the biggest swing in his career.

As we well know, the Leafs were one of the teams who inquired about Erik Karlsson over the summer. Whether or not there was legitimate interest there or if it was just Brad Treliving kicking tires, we may never know. However, we do know that Dubas has legitimate interest and, per reports from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the Pens appear to be a finalist in the Karlsson sweepstakes - the other being Carolina.
Friedman made an appearance on the NHL Network on Wednesday, revealing that the two horse race seems to be going back and forth between the two Metropolitan Division teams. The key to his report last night is that Carolina seems to have a deal in mind that San Jose isn't quite comfortable with, which might make the Dubas' Penguins the favourite at this point.
"At times I've had people tell me they think it's more likely that Carolina's going to be destination at other times, including the one most recently, I've had people say to me, no, they kind of think it's tipping a little bit towards Pittsburgh.

That's the thing about the danger about reporting this, that it seems to change from time-to-time...I think Carolina has got a number in mind, at this point in time, I don't think San Jose is going to get to, so we'll see what Pittsburgh can do." - Friedman on the Karlsson situation

Sharks GM Mike Grier has already publicly stated that he has no intention of retaining 50% on Karlsson. The most recent report on a retention number that Grier is comfortable with is closer to the 20% mark.
The biggest problem here is that Karlsson's $11.5M cap hit has made it problematic to try and move him. As it stands, the Pens are already $2.29M over the cap and still have some moves to make to become cap compliant. The Pens also have an abundance of players with NMCs and M-NTCs, which will make it tough to move salary through trade if they have no-move or no-trade clauses to contend with.
We'll have to wait and see how this all plays out and what Dubas might have up his sleeve to be able to take on such a large contract with minimal salary retention.
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Pens President and Interim GM Kyle Dubas preparing to take one of the biggest swings of his career

Will Kyle Dubas and the Penguins land Erik Karlsson this summer?

Yes10739.5 %
No9735.8 %
I just don't see how the money can work6724.7 %
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