Mark Hunter Has a Sad and Leaves Toronto

So, nothing like starting off the work week with some big news…

The important stuff:


No matter how terrible Mark Hunter has proven to be at the draft table, it’s important the Leafs don’t let him take that information to another organization to use against them. I’m sure it’s also in the organization’s best interest to not retain someone who doesn’t want to be here anymore. There’s some speculation that Lou Lamoriello is going to bring Hunter with him to the Islanders, and in that case, I feel incredibly bad for the Islanders.

Hunter has been the “draft guru” for the Leafs, and aside from the 2015 draft, he has proven only capable of completely tanking anything that isn’t a first round pick. His strange love of overaged Russian players, and 6’5 pylon defensemen makes it seem like he’s a mix of being completely out of touch with where the game is at today, and at the same time trying to look like the smartest guy in the room by going off the board with his picks. A little off the board is fun, but save that for rounds 5-7, we don’t need to take Yegor Korshkov 31st overall.

Hunter’s drafting has produced some absolute head scratchers with Fedor Gordeev, Keaton Middleton, Nicolas Mattinen, Ryan O’Connell, Vladimir Bobylev, Ryan McGregor, Vladislav Kara, and Nikolai Chebykin. It’s hard to imagine producing worse second days of the draft that what the Leafs have done over the past couple of years, and it will be refreshing to see what Kyle “Young Sheldon” Dubas does different.

Final Thoughts

This seems like a middle aged manchild kicking up dust because he didn’t get his way, and can’t accept that someone young than him could be better at a job than him. Frankly, who needs to keep this kind of entitled jackass around? I’m sure we’ll see him land somewhere in the NHL, but it’s also entirely possible that he takes his remaining year of Toronto money and goes back to buying the best London Knights team they can, since blank cheques always go further than eyes for scouting talent anyway.

The most exciting aspect of this is that Kyle Dubas now potentially has two vacancies in his front office, one for head of scouting and another running the Marlies. It will be interesting to see how conventionally he fills these roles, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one go to a “hockey man”.


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  • Maximum Taco

    Two points
    1) I love the Leafs. “Oh Washington forced Game 7? Good for them. BUT PAY ATTENTION TO US! FRONT OFFICE CHANGES!!!”
    2) In hindsight, this was inevitable this off season. The Leafs had 3 guys who all felt they were either still suited or now ready for the GMs chair and probably would have gotten significant interest around the league if available. We already almost lost Dubas to the Avs, so this was always gonna be pick one, and lose the other two. The Leafs could’ve kept Lou or Hunter, but that would’ve meant still losing the other one and almost certainly Dubas too.


    As predicted the Leafs are left with Dumbas who now has to deal with an over rated egomaniacal Babcock. I thought Shanny was smarter than that. I wonder how many coaches have to fly to a spoiled brats home to make sure he is over his hissy fit? Just when the Leafs looked like the had turned the corner.

  • glgbill

    Woah…project much? Dude, it’s almost like you (imagine you) were in the room, eavesdropping on all the conversations. Did Hunter run over your cat?

    Hunter has made some head scratching picks, but being passed over for the promotion would cause anyone to consider their future. Dubas won the job. Hunter lost and moves on. Natural outcome, nothing more.

    P.S. Sorry about your cat…

  • DangerZone

    Jesus. I like this site but this article is just embarrassing. The only manchild here is the author. You sound like a real douchebag.

    Hunter likely has a different opinion on how the team should be run. If he and/or the Dubas thinks that difference means he can’t be an effective AGM then this is the best move. Moving on doesn’t make him an entitled jackass.

    • Kanuunankuula

      I disagree, if the reason really was “can’t be working someone who’s 32” or the rumored “Used to be rivals in OHL”, then he was a gigantic baby (not unheard of in hockey).

      • Maximum Taco

        Yeah, but that’s a total assumption. It could just be as simple as “I want to be the GM somewhere and that’s never gonna happen here.”

        I mean think about it. If Hunter wants to be a GM, the next opportunity in Toronto is gonna be conservatively in 5 years, and that’s assuming Dubas does a bad job. If he does a good job (as we are all hoping) it could be 10+ years before the GM’s seat is open.
        If I had just been passed over for the highest position at my job and the job was gonna be filled for the next 5+ years I’d absolutely start looking elsewhere, and if I had the means to, I might quit immediately (especially if I already had something lined up, like Hunter might with the Islanders.)

  • Kevin

    If you look at the 2015 draft compared to the ones since, I think that Lou had a significant impact on drafting philosophy. I also don’t think the drafting was as bad as the author makes it sound. You need to hit on the first couple of rounds and afterward it’s more of a crapshoot and sometimes you take gambles on players. Beside koshkov, who may still turn into a good middle six player, Hunter and the Leafs have done a good job. All of the first rounders have hit while Grundstrom and Dermott are excellent players while Bracco, Rasanen, and even Korshkov have potential. Even if none of the last three turn into anything, getting 5 impact players in 3 drafts is more than decent. I agree that some of the later selections, particularly the past two drafts are a bit puzzling, but that’s when teams take flyers on people. Sometimes it works, for example Connor Brown, other times nothing comes of it.

  • SPECTRE_66

    This article is asinine. Most draft picks outside of the top 10 take years to develop in junior, the NCAA, overseas leagues and/or the minors. Hunter has only been around for the last 3 drafts. Might want to wait another couple of years before you write off some of the prospects you’ve mentioned. ‘Aside from the 2015 draft’…you mean the one where Hunter helped select Dermott and Bracco in the second round? Also, what about Grundstrom, a pretty good prospect selected in the second round in 2016? Statistics show that only about 44% of second rounders actual make it to the show, and only about 30% of third rounders or later do. With odds like that, why not swing for the fences after selecting the likes of Marner, Matthews and Liljegren. In recent years, the Leafs appear to have hit on Brown, Johnsson and maybe Sparks in the later rounds. Check yourself Steitzer.

  • I’m excited to see what Dubas does now that two older hockey minds have left without having accomplished much. It’s not that hard to make a good hockey team, but it’s really, really hard to make a great team. The leafs are not a great team yet, so if Lou and Hunter are not up to the task then good riddance. Bringing the leafs to contention was/is the most difficult thing to achieve in the NHL and those 2 failed us.

  • Bob Canuck

    This article is a very poor effort at analysis. Actually, it is quite juvenile.

    One example of the child-like evaluation is “… I feel incredibly bad for the Islanders” and “… like a middle aged manchild kicking up dust because he didn’t get his way …” is a second example. The former is just silly and the latter suggests that the author is not aware that a Hunter-like departure is common in business when two employees are vying for a coveted senior position. Hunter’s decision could simply be that he feels that he is qualified for the Leafs GM position and that it was best for both him and the Leafs that he leave now. That is not “kicking up dust”; it is the decision of a mature, confident adult.

    That being said, I do think Hunter’s draft record is worth examining in a few years. I sense that, outside of the first-round picks, Dermott, and Grundstrom, his other selections will grade out as average at best on a relative basis. Therefore, I think a declaration at this date that Hunter is a draft guru or was ineffective in his Leafs role is premature.

    MapleLeafsNation.com, please be better.