May 26, 2023, 3:46 p.m
As the on-ice battle for a chance to win the Stanley Cup continues, with Florida looking to beat either Vegas or Dallas in the championship final, the league’s off-ice race has picked up slow pace. as well as.
From multiple high-profile GM searches to a coaching carousel rotation, the sale of a Canadian NHL franchise and the NHLPA’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding Kyle Dubas’ contract negotiations, there’s been no shortage of storylines dominating even the offseason. It just arrived.
Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman and Jeff Marek break down everything in the final episode 32 ideas: podcast. See what the insiders have to say about the latest news and notes from the world of hockey.
Listen to the full episode of 32 Ideas: The Podcast over here.
Who is behind the NHLPA investigation into Kyle Dubas’ contract negotiations?
On Thursday, reports surfaced of an NHL Players’ Association investigation into former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and his recent contract negotiations. Dubas is represented in the case by the highly-regarded agent Wasserman Sports, which also represents several NHL stars, including Austen Matthews.
“Wasserman is an agency that represents hockey players, especially Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, Roman Josi, etc. They have agents like Jude Moldaver and Jeff Jackson and Dave Gagner. Now, on the other end of the building, let’s say, there’s a team, again at Wasserman, that represents Kyle Dubas. And that’s Chris Armstrong,” Marek explained.
Because of the potential conflict of interest, and the situation in Wasserman violates NHLPA rules, questions have been raised, specifically that NHLPA-accredited agents cannot represent or provide services to an officer or employee of an NHL club.
“Under the NHLPA’s own agent-verification rules, there’s no violation here,” Friedman said of the Dubas situation. Because Chris Armstrong is not a certified agent. He couldn’t represent Kyle Dubas if he was a certified agent to represent the players. But since it is not a certified agent, it can. Now, the debate here is whether it is one or not. Company It should be allowed to work. And there are people who think that should change, if you represent players, you can’t represent GMs or coaches.
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Since the NHLPA investigation reports surfaced, speculation has swirled about the source of the complaints against Dubas’ representation.
“The Leafs did this, as did some of the anti-Pumpkin folks, who were thinking, ‘Let’s grind it down to a ground-breaking campaign.’ “There are some agents who are very strict. But there are other agents who don’t accept it.”
Looking at other sports, Friedman noted that there are examples of agents representing both players and coaches in the NBA and NFL.
“One of the things I’ve been looking at is this: Does it only happen in hockey and not anywhere else? It’s actually the other way around,” he said. But there are some agents who don’t like it, and think that’s the way it should be. I just don’t know where it’s going.
But as written, in the NHLPA’s own agent bylaws, this was not illegal.
What’s next for Dubas and the Pittsburgh Penguins?
In the most public and tumultuous saga since parting ways with the Maple Leafs, attention has turned to Dubas’ future, with other high-profile GM searches underway around the league.
Among the most notable is the search for the next manager in Pittsburgh, where a new GM is tasked with building a team that will add another Stanley Cup banner to its Crosby-Malkin era collection.
Dubas initially said he wouldn’t take the GM job elsewhere if he didn’t return to the Maple Leafs, but following a press release from Brendan Shanahan detailing the process behind the team’s decision to part ways with Dubas, the former Leafs GM now appears to be the front-runner for the Penguins’ new start.
“I think Pittsburgh is prepared to wait the weekend to see how Dubas feels about this,” Friedman said. “I believe a small part of Fenway’s ownership is in Monaco F1, so they can come back and maybe finish this. I still think if it’s not Dubas, there’s Mathieu Darche in the picture. I don’t know if there’s anyone else, but I think Darche is in the picture.
“As I’ve said a couple of times this week, I think it’s Dubas’ job if he wants to. It’s clearly not closed yet.”
A report from a media group in Pittsburgh seems to tell a similar story Reports came out Earlier this week, Dubas met with Sidney Crosby at the Penguins practice facility on Tuesday.
Who is leading the Maple Leafs GM search, and how will it affect Auston Matthews’ decision?
Dubas’ former club is in the midst of its own GM search to find a manager who can bring a new vision and push the club to its long-awaited next step in the postseason. According to Friedman, former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving appears to be leading the way this season.
“I believe Brad Treliving has just interviewed with the Maple Leafs,” Friedman said. “And I think there’s more. I think there’s a few names that we haven’t revealed yet, but I’d guess that among the other interviewees would be (Marc) Bergevin, (Jason) Botterill and (Peter) Chiarelli. But I think there is more. I don’t think those are the only ones.”
The three candidates mentioned by Friedman all bring to the table experience as former NHL GMs, something that seems appealing to Maple Leafs president Shanahan, who said last week that “having an experienced general manager is an attractive quality.”
Bergevin, currently a senior advisor to the Los Angeles Kings GM, served as GM of the Montreal Canadiens from 2012-21. Botterill served as the GM of the Buffalo Sabers from 2017-20, while Chiarelli served as the GM of the Boston Bruins from 2006-15 and the Edmonton Oilers from 2015-19.
Talking to Mark The Jeff Marek Show Earlier Friday, Sportsnet’s Luke Fox reported that Treliving had spoken with Shanahan about the same situation and that he appears to be the frontrunner this time around. Fox also shed light on how Toronto’s GM search could affect the future of Maple Leafs star Austen Matthews, who recently became eligible to sign an extension as he enters the final years of a five-year contract he signed in 2019.
“I’m comfortable saying Austen Matthews will not be re-signing on July 1st and the new GM, whether it’s Treliving or someone else, their first priority should absolutely be Matthews’ file, and make sure he’s comfortable and vetted. What’s his number going to be so you can plan the rest of the team around that,” Fox said Friday.
But while I’m sure Matthews won’t sign on July 1st, I’m also saying he’d very much like to be a Maple Leaf going forward. And the fact that he’s close to Kyle Dubas is not going to develop a strong relationship with (Dubas’) successor, and I don’t think that means you can’t do something and he won’t. I am happy with the plan.
But right now there’s a lot we don’t know about the Maple Leafs – we’re not sure who the coach will be, we’re not sure who the GM will be, we’re not sure. What the vision is going to be, or how many current players will come back.
“Matthews probably won’t put pen to paper until he feels comfortable with the plan.”