Kyle Dubas “disappointed” in Penguins reaction to Jake Guentzel trade

The Penguins GM didn't exactly mince words.

Michael W.

The Pittsburgh Penguins came just short of clinching a postseason berth after they went on a late-season hot streak, meaning they've now found themselves on the outside looking in two years straight. 

They appeared to signal that they were already in preparations for next season with the trade of forward Jake Guentzel to the playoff-bound Carolina Hurricanes, but were able to rattle of an impressive 7-0-3 run that put them right back into the postseason picture.

But based on how the Penguins players reacted to the trade of Guentzel, it wasn't exactly a secret that they weren't happy with how things transpired. And that's something that GM Kyle Dubas touched on during his end-of-season media availability earlier this afternoon 

“Surprised and disappointed,” Dubas said of how the team reacted to the trade of Guentzel. “Because the reason is we showed what we were capable once we got back to it for the last 12, 13 games. … If we had shaken the doldrums a little bit earlier, we might be in a different position. I think it’s very instructive to everybody moving forward.”

However, Dubas sounds as though he's getting ready for anything except a long and painful rebuild despite the fact that the famed Penguins trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are all on the wrong side of 35 years of age.

“The easy answer when you’re up here is to say, ‘OK, we’re just going to rip it all the way down, and it’s going to require patience and it’s going to be painful,’” Dubas said. “If that’s the right course, there are organizations that have done that well. I think here with our group, it would be foolish not to try to get those younger players in around those players like (forwards Sidney Crosby), like (defenseman) Kris Letang, like (forward) Bryan Rust, people who come in every single day and operate at an extremely high level and get the most out of themselves. That’s the way I view it.

“But we haven’t gone through our full breakdown of the year, where we want to go, how we stack up against the other teams in our division next year, the year after, where those teams are at in their own cycle and how can we surpass them? I’d love to be able to give clear-cut answers right now, but I think that’ll become more clear as we get towards the draft and free agency.”

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Source: Trib Live