Penguins GM Kyle Dubas confronts Sidney Crosby about long-term plan

Penguins GM Kyle Dubas confronts Sidney Crosby about long-term plan

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On Wednesday afternoon, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas held a special press conference to discuss upcoming plans prior to the March 8 trade deadline. The Pens are 1-4-1 in their past six games and currently sit in seventh place of the Metropolitan division, eight points out of the last Wild Card playoff spot in the Eastern conference. A clear sign that they could be sellers, for the first time since 2006, at the deadline.

However, Dubas stated in his presser that out of respect to the group, he’s trying to be as patient as possible. He noted however that contenders are calling about players, and the Penguins are running out of time. Forward Jake Guentzel is reportedly on the trading block in Pittsburgh and Dubas admitted he is looking for his roster to get younger.

“We have to take stock of where we are and be realistic about the fact that one of the issues we have is that we need to get younger. We have a lot of guys in their 30s signed - some of them are the best players in the history of the franchise.

“It’s tough with Jake [Guentzel] because he is an excellent player playing at an elite level… We need to find a way to have some of those veteran guys while continuing to get younger at the same time.”

When mentioning getting younger, fans quickly turn to the core of the Penguins in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, and before the press conference on Tuesday, insider Elliotte Friedman explained on NHL Network how he believes Dubas has already asked Crosby about his future plans with Pittsburgh.

“Crosby said that he wants to be a Penguin for the rest of his career. I think if that were to change, he would have to let them know that. I think they’ve discussed it with him, I find it very hard to believe […] I would be surprised if Dubas hasn’t talked to Crosby already, if he hasn’t filled him in on what he’s thinking or how he thinks he’s going to get there.

“I think the Penguins know exactly what they could look like if there’a an extension with Crosby and I believe that if the Penguins had reasons to believe that Crosby was unhappy, they’d probably have a good inkling of that already.”

In his presser, Dubas did comment on having a player like his captain preventing the Penguins from entering a full complete rebuild:

“When you have players like that, they prevent you from getting there because they’re too good. What they can pass onto players coming into the organization, it’s impossible to measure. That’s what we would set out to do, whether it’s our own (prospects) or future draft picks/younger players we can bring in via trade, that can serve to expedite things and make sure there isn’t a massive breach.”

The main message coming from the GM to his players in his press conference was how time is running out and they need to give everything they have between now and the deadline “ with the intention of delivering a championship contender without them going through years of pain to get there.”

The Penguins are back in action on Thursday night as they host the Montreal Canadiens.

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