It’s been one year – what exactly has Kyle Dubas done?



On July 22, 2014, the Toronto Maple Leafs fired good hockey people Claude Loiselle and Dave Poulin and hired the inexperienced Kyle Dubas. Many bloggers and tweeters praised the move and said it was the beginning of a new era, and showed that Brendan Shanahan was thinking outside the box with the kind of people he was bringing in. 
But sometimes there’s a reason it’s called “outside the box”. 
In the last 365 days, what has Kyle Dubas even done?
Since his hiring, the Leafs have fired Stanley Cup Winner Randy Carlyle, experienced GM Dave Nonis, and traded away their best player to Columbus for a guy that’ll never play another NHL game. Dubas? Still here. He is at much at fault for the team being bad this past calendar year as any of the people who have had their livelihoods taken away from them, and yet he doesn’t seem to have to face any punishment. In fact, it seems as time goes on that he gets more and more responsibility giftwrapped to him by Shanahan. I wish my job was like that.
What is most worrisome is that Dubas hasn’t had to earn his stripes. He is 28 years old – 28! – and has a huge role in shaping the richest and most important franchise in hockey. And yet people just throw praise at him without thinking twice. The kind of stuff he’s heralded for? Filling roster holes with guys like Mark Arcobello (who played on four teams last year, a red flag if I’ve ever seen one), and Matt Hunwick, who literally no one had ever heard of before the Leafs inked him to a two-year deal. The only smart signing Dubas made was by correcting a poor one – bringing back Daniel Winnik is a good move for this hockey club. They say Dubas is proficient in “moneypuck“, but every move he’s making is ensuring that this puck-playing team isn’t getting any of MY money.
A year ago, I was willing to give Kyle Dubas a chance. But a year has passed, and there is very little to show for it. Brendan Shanahan better think long and hard about letting another year go to waste. And if he decides he wants to bring on some guys with actual experience, he needs to swallow his pride and call up the two he fired one year ago.
  • slickrick

    We need to shove more money and give him a higher position to do absolutely nothing and keep signing no names so we can keep losing! Woo!

    And who is this Mark Hunter guy? He drafted a random no name in the 7th round! SHANAHAN GIVE HIM MORE MONEYYY

  • Funny article. Though it strikes me that just because the current management is “better” then the previous management – that doesn’t mean they are “good” enough.

    Time will tell how they do overall. To date, I see no “home runs” moves by management just yet. There have been a few very good moves (Babcock) and some questionable moves (trading Kessel) but mostly they are doing what they should (as shown by drafting and holding management to account for poor on ice performance).

    The big thing that is missing (and what is hard to do) is finding exceptional value in a trade or in a signing etc. What they have done is series of smart, low risk moves (Kessel aside). This is not really exceptional and it not an apocalypse either. This is more about being average or perhaps above average. And I’m unconvinced this will lead to anything more then an average (or above average other).

    So I’m not hating Dubas and nor am I impressed either. I’m somewhere in the middle on him

  • Benjamin

    Look no further than the cover image. He’s clearly using the draft phone for personal calls.

    “I’m not hanging up, you hang up! Ok ok together on three, Sheldon?”

  • Gary Empey

    @ realisticleaffan

    Re- Kessel. Last year the opposing teams scored 34 more times than Toronto scored when Kessel was on the ice.

    In nine NHL seasons Kessel has only been a “plus player” in one year 2008-09 with Boston.

    Every GM in the league is aware of those stats.

    Honestly what were you really expecting in return for a player with this type of defensive liability?

    Kessel was locked in for the next 7 years.

    Toronto recieved a first round pick 2016, Pittsburg’s 2014 first round pick.

    Yes they had to retain $1.2 million for the duration of Kessel’s contract, For a team like Toronto this comes out of the petty cash.

    Kessel’s style of hockey was not going to be part of the rebuild. The longer we kept him we would be paying 8 million a year and his trade value was only going to diminish.

    • Gary Empey

      I think it is a shame that the leaf management didn’t take time to see how Kessel would look under a competent coach instead of giving up so easily. Yes Kessel is flawed but we know how he looked on the USA olympic team. That is you need to put him in a position to succeed rather then dump him at the first chance you get because you don’t like one part of his game.

      • Gary Empey

        Of course you are right it would of been interesting to see if Babcock could make him a more complete player.

        There is no shortage of work for Babcock to do though.

        Plus minus:

        Riemsdyk -33

        Bozak -34

        Kadri -7

        Rielly -16

        Phaneuf -11

        Gardiner -23

  • Gary Empey

    These “sarcastic” pieces must be designed to infuriate readers in hopes it will get the site a ton of clicks. I get it…but it’s getting old fast. Kinda bush imo.

    For the record, I find Dubas a bit smug and arrogant in interviews…but I don’t have to like him as long as he helps right the ship moving forward!

  • Gary Empey

    I know some people think stuff like this piece are A-level trolling, but it’s super old and I can’t even be bothered to read it. I read hockey blogs precisely so I don’t have to listen to blowhards rant and rave – how would replicating that experience, even as farce, be enjoyable in any way?

  • Howedy

    I hate the Leafs with all my heart, but I have to admit they finally are headed in the right direction. It’s a shame writers covering the team are too dense to see this.
    Dubas has clearly played a huge role in this, Bobby Cappucino needs to stop writing from the standpoint and sentiment that sandbagged the Leafs for decades (short sighted).
    Bobby, what you’ve just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things i’ve ever read. At no point in this rambling incoherent piece were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this nation is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

  • Howedy

    This article literally made no attempt at making an actual argument that was supported by facts, i feel dumber having read it. Regardless of what i think of Dubas i learned absolutely nothing from this article.