Toronto Maple Leafs: A Blockbuster Trade Everyone Missed Part 2

TORONTO, ON-Toronto-DUBAS.The Maple Leafs announced today the promotion of Kyle Dubas to General Manager. Brendan Shanahan was on hand for the announcement..May 11, 2018. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON-Toronto-DUBAS.The Maple Leafs announced today the promotion of Kyle Dubas to General Manager. Brendan Shanahan was on hand for the announcement..May 11, 2018. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Kyle Dubas, AGM Toronto Maple Leafs, General Manager of the Toronto Marlies, Cap hit $ unknown

In part one , we discuss the nuances of the transaction and the people involved. Furthermore, we delve into the backgrounds of Lou Lamoriello, Mark Hunter and their history with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It is 2014. Brendan Shanahan decides to surround himself with smart hockey people. So having heard of a bright young OHL GM, he sets up a lunch. One hour became three. Then three became six and dinner. So after nine hours, Brendan Shanahan was so impressed he decided to hire Kyle Dubas.

The winner of the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager sweepstakes? In any hockey trade, the team acquiring the best player wins. Kyle Dubas is the star of this transaction so, Toronto wins hands down.

Toronto Maple Leafs 17th GM, Kyle Dubas

Kyle Dubas, the 17th general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs is a rink rat. Stick-boy at 11, hockey operations assistant at 14, amateur scout at 17. A bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Brock University. The youngest players agent certified by the NHLPA. General Manager of the Greyhounds at 25. Because of his smarts and acumen, he built a small market franchise able to compete with OHL powerhouses while setting it up to succeed for years to come.

Kyle Dubas is considered one of the premier sports thinkers of his age. Garnering an unfair reputation as only a numbers guy, his use of analytics is just one piece of his puzzle. His ability to see talent overlooked by others is clear in Marlies’ standouts Trevor Moore, Mason Marchment and Justin Holl.

Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Marlies make a statement

His concept; a development program mirroring Major League Baseball where each level, ECHL and AHL become a feeder stream for the team above. Certainly, this is revolutionary thinking in hockey circles. No longer will Leafs affiliates be a dumping ground for the veteran in-betweeners biding their time. Mason MarchmentJustin Holl, Kristian PospisilMartins Dzierkals and J.J. Piccinich are all examples of his system’s success.

Promoted to replace Dave Poulin as the Marlies GM, Kyle Dubas inherited a Marlies team which struggled in the postseason and transformed them. From playoff bust to a Calder Cup Championship juggernaut. Hiring controversial coach Sheldon Keefe, he took a veteran-laden team and replaced roughnecks with speed and skill.

Calder Cup Champions, The Toronto Maple Leafs AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies

June 14, 2018, and the Marlies have defeated the stubborn Texas Stars 6-1 to win the Calder Cup. Kyle Dubas had a vision. And as a result, Toronto has a professional hockey championship. The fifty-one-year drought is over. During the Calder Cup rally, Kyle Dubas spoke from his heart while giving everyone a glimpse of what separates him from others.

Kyle Dubas cares. About his players his staff and their families. About the trainers, medical staff, scouts, coaches, equipment staff, transportation managers and their families. So as a result, there is an underlying current. Because he deeply and sincerely cares, his players, staff, scouts, equipment managers and everyone involved with the team, care as well. Consequently, they give 110% in everything they do. Whether in the gym or on the ice. Likewise, on a forecheck or returning to the bench. Because of that extra effort from all involved, Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Marlies are Calder Cup Champions.

Toronto Marlies’ rally, Kyle Dubas thanks the families

“They did this, they took me along for the ride. I’m very fortunate and happy to be here. They come here, day in and day out all year-long to build the habits and the process that was needed to win a championship… More importantly for one group of people here aside from them. (players & staff) When you go on this journey, your family goes along that journey with you… So as much as it’s about the players and the staff, today it is a great day for the families who support us along the way… The best is yet to come”

Kyle Dubas, June 17, Calder Cup rally, Ricoh (Coca-Cola) Collesium.

Pure unbridled joy and excitement

Kyle Dubas is passionate about the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

What I see in the following video is pure unbridled excitement and joy. Like a child on Christmas morning. I approve of a General Manager who shows his feelings at a proper time.

Certainly winning a championship qualifies as one of those moments.

Kyle Dubas is a foundational building block for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. He certainly won’t score any goals nor will not post a shutout. And yet, it seems like he could become the organizations unsung MVP.

Kyle Dubas is in demand

To complete this review, we need to step back once again, this time to May 2017.

Kyle Dubas was in demand. The interested teams are the Colorado Avalanche, Buffalo Sabres and Arizona Coyotes. Amongst front office confusion, permission is granted to speak with the Avalanche.

“The Colorado Avalanche ownership reached out to management requesting permission to speak with Kyle Dubas to come in and run the entire hockey operation of the Colorado Avalanche”.

 Bob McKenzie’s Bobcast, TSN Leafs Lunch

Brendan Shanahan quickly closed down talks. Rather than risk losing him, he re-signed the bright young executive to a new contract. It seems like the writing was on the wall since May 2017. I believe during contract negotiations, Brendan Shanahan made his intentions clear.

Kyle Dubas was not going anywhere!

Next: Grading Each Team's Off Season

Toronto Maple Leafs: A Blockbuster Trade Everyone Missed Part Three. New beginnings and future considerations coming soon.

If you missed Part One, you can find it here.