Kyle Dubas Had Erik Karlsson In Mind Way Before Joining Pittsburgh

Published August 8, 2023 at 9:56

The NHL world is still buzzing about the colossal three-way trade involving Erik Karlsson, who found himself heading to the Penguins in a deal that roped in the Sharks and the Canadiens as well.

However, a fascinating twist has recently emerged in the last few hours: Kyle Dubas, who now masterminds operations in Pittsburgh, actually began the chase for Karlsson while he was still in Toronto.

Can you imagine? Had Toronto not parted ways with Dubas, they could very well be boasting Karlsson in their lineup today.

While some celebrate this move by Dubas, opinions are divided on whether it's truly a win for the Penguins. Surprisingly, and it even might be crazy to say, but some Leafs fans are breathing a sigh of relief that Karlsson didn't don their jersey.

Karlsson Finally Got The Ball Rolling?

Let's talk about Karlsson's trajectory.
Last season, he was phenomenal, racking up 101 points and nabbing the Norris Trophy.

But here's the rub: that was his first season with 50+ points since he donned the Sharks' colors five years ago. For someone earning a whopping $10M AAV, that's a sparse return.

Now, with the opportunity to shine on a top-tier team, expectations are high. But could the Pens be setting themselves up for disappointment?

An Aging Squad

Karlsson's age can't be ignored. The Penguins' new Core Four consists of Sidney Crosby (35), Evgeni Malkin (37), Kris Letang (36), and now Erik Karlsson (33), chewing up $31M of the salary cap.


In addition, this means that the Pens might find themselves stuck with Karlsson in the twilight of his career, unable to trade him for fresh talent or picks, seriously hindering a possible rebuild, pushing it later than it should be scheduled.

Karlsson has often been hailed as the sort of player every team wants. How can we forget his dazzling performances with the Ottawa Senators in 2017?

But let's not forget his fluctuating performances and the ticking clock of age. He may not be the savior Pittsburgh is hoping for, though his skills will undoubtedly contribute.

In the end, this trade might be a cautionary tale for the Leafs, who could have unwittingly dodged a bullet. Time will tell if this deal pays off for the Penguins, but one thing's for sure: it has all hockey fans talking.

As seen on - Toronto Maple Leafs Escaped a Risky Deal With Erik Karlsson
August 8   |   199 answers
Kyle Dubas Had Erik Karlsson In Mind Way Before Joining Pittsburgh

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