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Dubas motivated after dubious exit?

May 20, 2023, 3:46 PM ET [32 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
A seismic change has taken place in Toronto. Kyle Dubas will no longer be working for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his original press conference he made it seem like he was either going to stay or he was going to step away due to family reasons. To that point the Maple Leafs wanted to keep him.

Then, allegedly, Dubas asked for a raise. Combined with the fact he was open about stepping away for family reasons and Brendan Shanahan gassed him.

The way this was handled by the Maple Leafs was pretty strange. To go from wanting Dubas four days ago to swiftly moving on is a bit strange. It rubbed Jason Spezza the wrong way. He immediately resigned from what I can only think would be his post playing career dream job.

Dubas originally stated if he stepped away people shouldn’t expect him to pop up elsewhere. That was when his departure was on his terms. He was effectively fired. Does it change his calculus? Is he open to other jobs after how this played out?

This is a sour end to what was a mostly positive run as GM. The Leafs were exciting and competitive for much of the last five years. A different playoff format would have likely changed the narrative surrounding the team. They got buzzsaw after buzzsaw in round one.

That said, I don’t really view Kyle Dubas as much as an analytics guy as his detractors or even some of his supporters do. He is a hockey guy through and through. He came up through the ranks earning promotion after promotion.

I think he is open to building and using analytics in some form which was clear based on the people he hired. I think he for the most part avoids huge catastrophic errors. I think he understands you pay your great players and try to get deals on the depth. I also think if he were a big analytics guy you wouldn’t see stuff like a first round pick traded for Nick Foligno. The acquisitions of Wayne Simmonds, Sam Lafferty, Kyle Clifford, and Zach Bogosian. He traded for Jared McCann for basically nothing from the Penguins, only to make the same mistake the Penguins did and give him away for nothing. This isn’t a general manager without blind spots.

He is also a general manager who is more appealing than many of his peers and he is now potentially available. If Dubas were open to new opportunities I would definitely be listening to what he has to say in an interview. I think a team president role would be the route I would take. Dubas is somebody who understands the big picture. I would love a Dubas/Tulsky combo while also understanding it likely isn’t realistic.

We’ll have to see where this Dubas situation goes.

Thanks for reading!
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