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New Penguins president Dubas to hold GM duties in interim

Kyle Dubas Toronto Maple Leafs Kyle Dubas - The Canadian Press

New Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas said he plans to handle the team's general manager duties through the NHL Draft and into July before searching for GM candidates.

"My intention is I will handle that on an interim basis through July and then will go through candidates and make the decision that is best for the hockey department," Dubas said Thursday

Dubas was officially named the Pens' team president on Thursday, about 30 minutes prior to the Maple Leafs introducing Brad Treliving, Dubas' replacement as GM in Toronto.

The Leafs announced May 19 that Dubas would not return following the expiration of his contract on June 30. 

The 37-year-old Dubas called the 2022-23 season "very taxing" and noted in his end-of-season press conference on May 15 that if he were to continue in the NHL, it would only be with the Maple Leafs. 

“I definitely don’t have a view to going anywhere else,” Dubas said of expected interest from other teams. “It would either be [Toronto] or taking time [away] to reflect. You won’t see me next week pop up elsewhere. I can’t put my family through that after this year.”

TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston noted, however, those comments were made while Dubas' focus was solely on returning to the Maple Leafs. 

According to CapFriendly, the Penguins are slated to have just over $20 million in cap space this summer with 15 players under contract. The team moved their second-round pick in June's draft at the trade deadline to acquire Mikael Granlund but have their first-round selection in each of the next three drafts.

"On behalf of my family, we are thrilled to join the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and all of the incredible people across Fenway Sports Group," said Dubas Thursday in a news release. "I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity that lies ahead of me. The ownership group, FSG leadership and the Penguins staff on the ground in Pittsburgh have been absolutely outstanding. Everyone has demonstrated a clear commitment to building a best-in-class hockey operation.

"The rich history of winning and the competitiveness of the coaching staff and players were evident in each conversation I had about this position. The opportunity to work with such passionate and committed people, as well as the established character and leadership of the long-standing core group of talented players, gives me great enthusiasm for the challenge at hand. Our family has been made to feel extremely comfortable throughout this process and we are excited to now call Pittsburgh our home."