The Pittsburgh Penguins have all but guaranteed that their rivalry with Eastern Conference rival the Toronto Maple Leafs will ramp up considerably next season by hiring former Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to be their president of hockey operations. The Dubas move alone would be enough to heat up the Penguins/Leafs rivalry, but it sounds like the Penguins may not be done poaching talent from the Maple Leafs.
Maple Leafs insider James Mirtle has now revealed two names from the Maple Leafs front office that he believes are at risk of being targeted by the Penguins and both are currently key figures within the Maple Leafs organization. The first is Maple Leafs general manager Brandon Pridham, a man that Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan admitted he would need to lean on heavily after firing Kyle Dubas, and the other, and perhaps more surprising, name on that short list is that of Maple Leafs head scout Wes Clark.
Other talk I’m hearing is that the Leafs will try to keep assistant GM Brandon Pridham, although they don’t have a vacant GM role to offer him and the Penguins now do, so theoretically that could be a factor.
Other teams believe Dubas will also attempt to bring over Leafs head scout Wes Clark and members of Toronto’s analytics department, although the complicating factor is many of them are under contract.
Contracts may complicate matters for the time being but Dubas has already indicated that he is in no rush to hire a new general manager just yet, and that patience could extend to other roles as well if he believes he can fill them with the right people in the long term.
Another name that has often come up in connection to Dubas and the Penguins is that of Darryl Metcalf, and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman addressed that particular name on his most recent podcast.
"I think the two names people talk about are Wes Clark and Darryl Metcalf, who is one of their assistant general managers," revealed Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast.
We will have to wait until the 2023-24 NHL season to see the Maple Leafs and Penguins renew their rivalry on the ice, but their rivalry off the ice may continue through the summer.