Toronto Maple Leafs taking the next step with Kyle Dubas as GM

Kyle Dubas GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs and President Brendan Shanahan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Kyle Dubas GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs and President Brendan Shanahan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After weeks of speculation, the Toronto Maple Leafs officially promoted Kyle Dubas as the new general manager during a critical time for the organization.

It is hard to be surprised with the Toronto Maple Leafs announcing Kyle Dubas as the new general manager, despite reports suggesting Mark Hunter being highly considered. 

What this promotion suggests is that the team was not going to deviate from the plan they had put in place. Dubas was one of Brendan Shanahan‘s first hires when he took over as President,  and he did not allow him to leave for other job opportunities.

There is no denying that Hunter is a valuable member of the organization as Shanahan noted in his press conference, but Dubas also had a big responsibility running the Toronto Marlies. Both would have been strong candidates, but only one was seen as the ideal fit.

That’s because Dubas has already had a hand in the construction of the Leafs’ roster, with the players who have graduated from the Marlies. Sure Hunter has had a hand in that, but with the help of Sheldon Keefe, Dubas ensured their development in the AHL made them ready to take the next step.

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The Athletic‘s James Mirtle wrote about how the Leafs should leave the decisions going forward to the person that would be the general manager in the long-term. It was clear it wasn’t going to be Lou Lamoriello, and that was all a part of Shanahan’s plan.

This is the toughest part for any general manager, as the Leafs do have flaws that need to be corrected. Expect Dubas to explore every avenue to get it done.

An interesting note from Justin Bourne of The Athletic, was how Dubas was not shy in ensuring the Marlies had as many possible advantages available to them:

"He’s poured resources into the Marlies so they’re attractive to the best people outside the NHL, and so the prospects have the best chance to succeed. That means signing the league’s best veteran players, so the rookies have the best chance to play deeper into playoffs.That means using a second bus so those same rookies can lay out and get their rest just like the vets, instead of doubling up. Basically, anyway Dubas could spend money to help develop their young players, he would."

As Dubas mentioned in his introductory press conference, the team has the resources to tackle them, but now it’s time to execute. This means making the tough decisions and possibly undoing some of the things Lamoriello did, which have not worked out.

Where he will find the inefficiencies is with the veteran players who eventually fell out of favour with coach Mike Babcock, such as Leo Komarov and Matt Martin. That means there is a good chance Komarov doesn’t return and Martin could be up in the press box again or traded.

Dubas might have to push back on some of Babcock’s requests like Lamoriello might have at this year’s trade deadline, and find other ways to improve.

Next: Leafs' Defensive Draft Targets

What do you think about the move to make Dubas the new GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Is he ready? What should be his first move? Let us know in the comments below.