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Dubas: Penguins intend to contend in Crosby's final years

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Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas doesn't just want Sidney Crosby to finish his career with the team. He wants the club to compete for a Stanley Cup in the process.

"I think everyone's been pretty clear on where they stand on the fact everyone would like to see him end his career in Pittsburgh," Dubas told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, "And it's my intention that in those years that we're back and definitely contending."

Amid a disappointing campaign that sees Pittsburgh on the outside of the playoff picture, the Penguins traded Crosby's long-time linemate Jake Guentzel before the deadline.

The deal left Crosby searching for answers, and his comments began to draw into question his future in Pittsburgh.

"It's tough when you have to make those decisions," Dubas said about trading Guentzel. "But you have to always do what you believe is best for the long term of the organization and my sights were set on giving the team as long as possible to assert itself more in the race."

Dubas understands Crosby's uncertainty about the trade.

"I would never expect for us to move a key player from our team and have any of those guys, including (head coach Mike Sullivan), Sid, Kris Letang, (Evgeni) Malkin, Erik Karlsson, Bryan Rust, to think that that's a good thing."

Crosby's voice remains vital, but Dubas admits there are decisions he makes as a GM that his star captain may not like.

"I think you'd be remiss not to seek his opinion and how he's feeling," he said. "Obviously he's done so much for the city of Pittsburgh and for the Penguins ... I want his opinion, I value his opinion."

He added: "We may not always agree and I might have to do things in the short run he disagrees with."

Dubas noted that a private conversation between himself, Crosby, and his agent Pat Brisson would occur after the season regarding the future and the team's next steps.

The Penguins are sixth in the Metropolitan Division and are six points out of the second wild-card spot.

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