Kyle Dubas Reveals He Tried To Acquire Karlsson For Maple Leafs

The Erik Karlsson blockbuster is done, and he's now a Pittsburgh Penguin. But if Kyle Dubas had had his way, the three-time Norris Trophy winner might have been a Toronto Maple Leaf. 

The Penguins president of hockey operations and GM admitted as much when rehashing the chain of events that led to this past weekend's Karlsson trade.

"It was a fairly lengthy process that goes back to my previous employment," said Dubas, which of course reveals the fact that while in Toronto, the GM tried to land the 100-point D-man for the Leafs. He was apparently trying to turn the team's 'Core 4' into a fivesome. 

Dubas was relieved of his duties with the Buds on May 19th, only to take the Penguins' job less than two weeks later. He continued his pursuit of Karlsson, now forming his own new 'Core 5' in Pittsburgh, with the former Sharks blueliner joining Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Jake Guentzel. 

Karlsson, in fact, had revealed that the Leafs were one of the teams he'd talked with last month while trade discussions were ongoing, with new Leafs GM Brad Treliving apparently trying to pick up where Dubas had left off on the front. The team eventually pivoted and added a different all-offensive defenseman in John Klingberg in free agency. Call him a 'Karlsson Lite'. Very, very lite.

Photo: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports