Kyle Dubas will not return as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs next season, team president Brendan Shanahan announced today.
Dubas, who has been with the Maple Leafs since 2014, served as an assistant general manager before being promoted to the role of general manager in May 2018, replacing Lou Lamoriello. Under his leadership, the team has yet to miss the postseason but has won just one game past the First Round, coming in this year’s 4-1 Second Round loss to the Florida Panthers.
Per the announcement from the Leafs, this was not necessarily a mutual decision. The team’s statement clarified that it was Toronto’s decision to part ways with Dubas ahead of his contract expiring on June 30.
Shanahan expressed gratitude to Dubas for his near-decade of work with the Leafs organization:
I would like to thank Kyle for his unwavering dedication over these last nine seasons with the organization, including his last five as General Manager. Kyle fostered a great culture within our dressing room and staff, and consistently pushed to make our team better season over season. We wish Kyle and his family the best moving forward.
Dubas’ immediate future in the NHL remains very uncertain. He stated on Monday that he would either continue with the Maple Leafs or take time away from the league to spend with family.
Regardless, there is bound to be considerable interest from other teams when or if he decides to pursue another general manager position in the future. Dubas’ reputation as a progressive thinker, his analytical approach (which he had wavered from slightly in recent seasons), and a good recent history of high-value draft picks make him an attractive candidate for any franchise looking for a fresh perspective.
Dubas headed up one of the most formative periods in Maple Leafs history, signing multiple significant contracts with the team’s top players. None, however, have faced more scrutiny than his free agent acquisition of captain John Tavares in 2018 to a seven-year, $77MM contract, one a large sect of fans have determined an overpayment for his services.
The news means someone new will be behind the helm to deal with potential contract extensions for Auston Matthews and William Nylander, who are both unrestricted free agents in 2024 and are eligible for extensions beginning July 1 of this year. The Leafs have a pair of internal candidates, assistant general manager Brandon Pridham and special assistant to the general manager Jason Spezza, who immediately jump out as potential replacements.
While it seems like the team’s curse of playoff failures may never end, the reality is Dubas’ successor is inheriting a team with many years left in a contention window if they play their cards right. A solid prospect base and some potential financial flexibility, especially if the next GM does trade one of the team’s ’Core Four’ of Matthews, Nylander, Tavares, and Mitch Marner, still have Toronto in solid positioning.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was first to report the news.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Wow… Most of the talking heads thought the opposite. Maybe he was told he’d have to axe Sheldon.
Will be apparent as story gets backfilled, but this is likely Dubas’ decision, not Toronto’s. Dubas said previously he wouldn’t take a job anywhere else this offseason, and if he didn’t return, it would be to spend time with family
dave frost nhlpa
Mac-I KNOW WHO’S ALSO ON THE WAY OUT!!!
dave frost nhlpa
Nope. Bigger moves ahead.
Words spoken minutes before disaster
dave frost nhlpa
I know who is going out as well!!!!
@Josh – Captain Edward Smith, overheard saying, “Iceberg? I’m not afraid of no stinkin’ iceberg!”
@Dave – Think MLSE is going to clean house with a sledgehammer or a wrecking ball?
@MoneyBallJustWorks – 2-cycle, 4-cycle, 120V, 220V, or…nitro? :)
with this team? has to be a cycle
One of the most overrated GMs in sports.
What? You and your clan of yellers, screamers, and tantrum tossers have been all over cyberspace for years yapping that he is a horrible GM. Yet somehow in your confused brain you decipher this to mean that he is overrated? Overrated by whom? Who is doing these GM ratings?
I won’t go through every GM but the Foligno, Marleau and Lunyschkin trades were comically bad
Keefe goes next. Then likely Marner. Never, ever, should have Tavares (he of Leafs footie-pajamas fame). Misallocation of resources.
Tavares has not been the all-star his contract ought to command, but he has been a respectable top-line centre. When he was signed, he was a highly coveted and reliably strong top line centre. I don’t think the contract is awful without the benefit of hindsight. It’s not GOOD, let’s be clear, and it was always an overpayment. But it was an overpayment when regular cap increases were expected.
Dubas helped load the team with high value prospects not yet heard from still in the pipeline like Nic Moldenhauer, Mike Koster, Topi Niemela, Amirov, Grebenkin, and 2 Elite upside goalie prospects in Vyach Peksa & Artur Akhtyamov.
He will be missed on that front is my guess. Good picks for such a high finishing team w/subpar draft position.
Shanahan should have been fired
Will be interesting to see what Kyle says in the coming days or weeks (if anything). I think this means Keefe is also gone.
will be interested however to see what happens with the GM. I know everyone wants an experienced GM but the team loves Spezza. I think his assistant GM setup was made for this decision. Former player well respected by the team and other players in the league and can relate to players.
As for coach, some decent options out there in Gallant, Laviolette, Eakins.
Eakins isn’t awful, just not a guy you want leading your team if competing for the playoffs. he is a good coach for younger player development however.
He ruined Edmonton and set them back 5 years coaching and developing a young team there. Eakins is HORRIBLE.
he ruined them? if only his bad coaching stint benefitted the Oilers in any way. hmmm???
They went from promise and growth under Kreuger in 20212-13 and finished in 24th to finishing in 28th, 28th, and 29th the following seasons. So yes, he and his swarm defence helped ruin any progress the team had made climbing out of the cellar after all those years and drug them back down.
so the team would have been farther along without Connor? ok
88good ol days
When do the players take accountability for losing? This team was stacked.
@88good ol days – That’s been brought up since season’s end, too, by multiple outlets/shows. It’s like the players treat it as though it’s a country club, and they’re just entertainers. They’ve been accused of playing soft, with no pushback. What I haven’t heard discussed much is why they seem to think they have to change their style come playoff time. It looks like they are adjusting their game before the opponent forces them to do it. They’re trying to implement rocket science that is way beyond their pay grades.
Yet Shanahan still gets his $6M/year for…..what exactly?
the team is worth more than it did when he took over so they aren’t in a rush to move him. president doesn’t mean has to win but rather make money.
It would be amazing if the Leafs hire John Ferguson Jr as GM.
been there, done that, still paying for it
The sequel would be entertaining.
I’m sure every other team will have interest. Someone needs a barback somewhere
Bye, wunderkind! ROFL!
Eakins is terrible. He was in over his head simply coaching a tank job in Anaheim, which is saying a lot.
This site leads the league in babbling know-it-all’s and when the topic is the Leaves, the volume and amusement level gets cranked up many notches. It’s like a reunion of every loudmouth yelling at the television in every sports bar. Great theater!
As I mentioned in another thread, I don’t think Toronto’s failures are due to bad players, bad coaching or bad management. I think the toxic culture of the fanbase and media in Toronto is a big part of the problem. I live close enough to Toronto to have heard some of the “grapevine” stories – public harassment of players, being recognized everywhere, fans showing up at players’ homes… To say nothing of the constant negativity and criticism.
To be clear, the Leafs game had problems. They rely way too much on the cycle game to generate offence, and it really seems like in the playoffs, everything tightens up defensively, making that game harder to play. The Leafs could never enter the zone and set their game up; Florida clobbered them in the neutral zone.
But if the Leafs are gonna win another cup, that toxicity around the team needs to go.
They’re too dumb to play with themselves
Are you the ‘Maple Leaf isn’t scary enough’ person?
No, I think the Leafs brand is pretty strong. But there are some issues in that market, and like that fella ultimately wound up agreeing, what’s needed is a culture change.
No that was sessh
I was the one who tore em apart for that idiotic comment. He had the great idea of adding a sword blade to the tip of the leaf because that apparently makes us more scary
Tore me apart? lol I trolled you hard. The comments had the intended effect and were therefore wildly successful. I can’t believe you’re still going on about that in another comment section here. lol Really got you good! Looks like you’re the one that’s torn apart!
I stand by the more serious points I was making which is that change is needed and whether it’s a culture change, a logo change, a jersey design change or whatever it is, nothing should be off the table. When you go 56 years without winning a damn thing, there’s a malignancy growing in that organization and that city that needs to be burned out and you think a logo redesign is ridiculous? What’s ridiculous is 56 years. You should be open to changing just about anything at this point.
If your intention was to sound dumb that is all you accomplished, even other posters are laughing about it. But the sword was a great idea seriously… a true gem we will continue to laugh about, cause u were serious lol
They’re supposed to laugh. That’s part of the point of trolling. lol.. and yet here you are over a week later and you still can’t get over it and move on with your life. It’s amusing to me that you have such a big problem with swords though… because in Toronto, I guess swords are signs of weakness. By all means, continue to let this bother you for another month or two while thinking I’m the one that looks dumb.
I was not serious about renaming the team the “Toronto Authoritarians” and doing away with the “Maple Leafs” entirely. I enjoy jabbing the Leafs in the side any chance I get and I will not apologize for that. That was bait deliberately placed for some fun you’re still having issues coping apparently. lol 56 years of losing and counting, let’s go for 60! I know the Authoritarians can do it!
The other guy zeroed in on the legitimate part of it which is that there’s something seriously wrong with that organization and nothing will change until that gets sorted. Since he lives in the middle of it all, he put his finger right on it.
It’s interesting. I’m just reading an article from 2018 about how excited everyone there was about the “Shanaplan” hoping that Shanahan would make the changes to culture and identity needed (and it seems he knew they were needed) to turn things around. It at least seems like some people there know that these changes need to happen, but they never seem to make the right changes in the right places I guess.
I didn’t know that the media/fans went to such an extent to harass players at their homes and in public everywhere they went. Is this stuff just normalized there and nothing is done or even attempted to curb this behavior? Is this even seen as a problem by enough people?
I would think it wouldn’t take long before that stuff really got into your head no matter how talented the on-ice product was.
I didn’t even bother to read these novels/loveletters you posting, you aren’t worth the time or effort of a debate. Your thoughts are irrelevant so just FYI you wasting your time.
.. and yet you bothered to reply yet again which means you’re still having issues. If someone “isn’t worth your time”, you certainly don’t bother replying to posts you didn’t bother to read. Keep trying, you’ll get it. You’re sooo upset over this, it’s funny. lol Please keep going.
Lmao if they get rid of Dubas and keep Keefe my god that would be a massive failiure
it’s not happening. Shanny will let a new GM be the bearer of bad news for Keefe.
Keefe was dubas’s guy wasn’t he? I would think the new gm would want his guy but you never know
Poor little #TheDube.
Hoisted by his own petard.