It's Leafs or bust for Kyle Dubas
Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas, whose contract is set to expire, says he will either resign in Toronto or take time time off next season.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: What about Kyle Dubas? It seems like, you did mention the fact that he would either want to stay as Toronto GM or just take some time away. I wonder if, in his case, if it's worth him moving on and just doing something else, or if it's worth keeping him as a GM, or you get him to do something else.
I wonder what his future will be. It seems like there's no shortage of teams who might be interested if he somehow puts himself on the market. There are some vacancies opening up and already open, as we've seen over the last few days, whether you're looking at Calgary or Pittsburgh.
But I mean, Kyle Dubas seemed like a tired man. I mean, if you go through what he's gone through over the last how many years as GM, as attractive of a job as that is, it's a lot of losing, a lot of disappointment, a lot of cameras in your face, a lot of interviews.
I sympathize with the fact that this has taken a toll on him and a toll on his family. And while I think he stays, I really wonder how close he gets to just taking a moment and saying, I'm just going to take some time off. I really wonder how close he gets to that point.
Because I'd be very-- I'd be very surprised if he goes down that route. But I won't be completely surprised just considering how tough the job is. Anyone in that position would probably go through something similar like what Kyle went through. That's how I see it. Arun, what do you think?
ARUN SRINIVASAN: After today, I mean, I think that's, like, abundantly clear. He said it, in no uncertain terms, it's either the Leafs or he's taking a year off. So I think this would have been sort of a more interesting framework five hours ago, because then you sort of speculated on that idea that you can move into a president of hockey operations role with the Flames or the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Those possibilities, if we take Dubas' word at face value, seem to be ruled out. So I really do think it is sort of more binary now, where it's he's either the Leaf GM or he's taking that year off. And he really did stress that this is a serious thing, that he needs some time.
Also, I mean, read into it what you will, but he took the podium alone without Brendan Shanahan. And he basically said that this is by design, because it's on him. He said, it's on me, very succinctly, this loss.
And it's true. I mean, he built this roster-- this roster is entirely his making, right? So I think he does feel all the way to that. I mean, he did call out a reporter by name. I'm not going to mention him, because I thought that was unfair.
But he did call out a reporter by name saying, I didn't know they were doing surveillance on me. It's sort of, like, on the record now, that we know that Kyle Dubas rages at games, and he's a very emotional guy. And he sort of defended that emotion, which I didn't think he had to. I mean, you're a general manager of a team. You know, like, [? wile ?] out if you need to.
But yeah, like, it's very clear that the cumulative toll of running a team that has underperformed expectations in the playoffs time and again is really just taking a toll on him. Because what else is there to do? You know, he's built a really great roster.
So all this to say that I really do believe that it's either the Leafs or bust for him. And yeah. I mean, he would receive several offers on the open market. I wouldn't be surprised whatsoever. Based on his age and pedigree and sort of inclination to make bold trades, I think he would be an attractive candidate. But I really do think it's the Leafs or Bust.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I will say, though, it is funny that he acknowledged the fact that people do pay attention when he rages from his box. I do know the reporter he mentioned by name. And just as someone just seeing the tweet, I thought it might have been a funny thing. But it seems like the way you're describing it, it was more snarky.
ARUN SRINIVASAN: It was very snarky. And that's-- and the reporter he called out is a very good reporter across several different sports. So I didn't think that was fair.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Slightly biased, but yes, he is.
ARUN SRINIVASAN: He is. So I didn't think it was fair. But I mean, then again, I mean, does he owe us, as media, fairness? Not really. So it is what it is.