Empty Arena
Photo credit: NHL

Photo of empty Arena should have new team president concerned

Published March 15, 2024 at 4:06 PM

One of the most important aspects of any President of Hockey Operations job is to making sure there are butts in the seats. At times attendance numbers alone can drive franchises to make dramatic roster decisions. Failure to generate revenue and encourage fans to attend games, have forced many teams to skip the rebuild and instead mortgage their future to be a playoff competitor.

When Kyle Dubas accepted the role with the Pittsburgh Penguins it came with lofty expectations. It also came knowing that the team wouldn't be competitive forever. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh and their fans I don't think anyone could have predicted how bad things would be this soon. Especially after the team made a gigantic splash this summer and acquiring Erik Karlsson.

Now less than 12 months later the team finds himself sitting outside of the playoffs race and with their arena nearly half empty on Thursday night.

While a match up against the San Jose Sharks isn't the most appealing for any hockey fan, the Penguins still need to draw fans to the game. This especially rings true under the Fenway Sports model under which they operate.

Despite what fans think, Pittsburgh has not always been a hockey town and before acquiring Sidney Crosby through the NHL draft nearly lost their team. Since acquiring Crosby, the team has been in NHL powerhouse, but there have always been questions of what will happen when his time in Pittsburgh comes to an end. Does this market have the appetite for a rebuild? Or will interest wane almost immediately?

With rumors swirling that Crosby could be looking at a potential exit. It is unclear how fans will react. But if things go south and Dubas isn't able to turn things around. Ownership likely won't take too kindly.
March 15   |   461 answers
Photo of empty Arena should have new team president concerned

Will Kyle Dubas work his entire contract with the Penguins?

No, he'll be fired before it ends39485.5 %
No, he'll quit337.2 %
Yes, he will347.4 %
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