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Kyle Dubas
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Kyle Dubas takes a shot at his big free agent signing Ryan Graves

Published April 19, 2024 at 8:48 PM
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Pittsburgh Penguins GM, Kyle Dubas, throws shade at long term free agent signing, Ryan Graves, after down year.

Last summer, the Pittsburgh Penguins made big moves to stay in contention while Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang were all still with the Penguins. With the season coming to an end earlier this week and the Penguins not making the Stanley Cup Playoffs by just mere points there was a lot of questioning and some shade thrown within the organization.

One of the biggest moves Kyle Dubas made in the last offseason was picking up Canadian defenseman, Ryan Graves, for 6 years with an annual average of 4.5 million. In Graves' first season with the Penguins it was quite underwhelming after only producing to about half of what he has shown in previous years in Colorado and New Jersey. Kyle Dubas had this to say about the 6 foot 5 inch defenseman's underachieving season,

"With Ryan, there's no dancing around it. He was a very good player in Colorado and New Jersey... He came in and from the beginning, I thought, 'it happens'. Did I expect it to go the whole year? No. Part of that is on us as an organization, but it's as much on Ryan to push and find his way through the summer. It's a massive summer for him. His strength, which will allow him to be more physical and make stops in the defensive zone, his mobility - he's going to have to push and really work on that. We have to arm him with the path to get there and he has to execute it relentlessly and if he can do that, he will get back to being the player he was when we signed him."




To some this type of season comes with no surprise as Graves has not had to step up in this way on any of his previous teams. Graves in past years has only logged up to about 16 minutes a night on average, while his average jumped about 2-3 minutes per night.

Although the heat is currently on Ryan Graves, this is not a great look for the front office of the Pittsburgh Penguins. With 5 more years left on his contract they are looking to get him to produce at a higher level and make him apart of a winning team in the near future.
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Kyle Dubas takes a shot at his big free agent signing Ryan Graves

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