Toronto Maple Leafs: A Blockbuster Trade Everyone Missed Part 3

TORONTO, ON - JULY 1: John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs, poses with his jersey in the dressing room, after he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, at the Scotiabank Arena on July 1, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 1: John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs, poses with his jersey in the dressing room, after he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, at the Scotiabank Arena on July 1, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Toronto Maple Leafs, the next chapter, new beginnings and future considerations

In part one of this article we discuss the nuances of the transaction and the people involved. Furthermore, we delve into the histories of Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter with the Leafs. In Part two, we look at the winner of the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager sweepstakes.

First of all, May 11, 2018, is a monumental day for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Secondly, the rebuild is over. Lastly, for fans and media alike, in four years the team has transitioned from pretending to contending. With the hiring of Kyle Dubas to run the show, MLSE has declared it is our time now.

Elliot Friedman broke the news at 9:03 AM.

Brendan Shanahan is building an organization primed for long-term success and as a result, he has provided direction. His vision realized through the efforts of new General Manager Kyle Dubas and coach Mike Babcock. Management, players, coaches, trainers and staff exist as a family for nine months. Creating an environment conducive to the family dynamic, the Leafs now place a premium on family, their health, attitude and the well-being.

Future considerations

What about these future considerations?

Future considerations are the smallest modicum to satisfy the trade requirements. Many times it just means they will swap conditional draft picks or something else of negligible value. The most notable one is probably when Kris Draper, traded this way for what eventually was a dollar.


If all goes according to plan, star players from Ontario will soon consider their future with the Leafs as a realistic alternative.

On the day the Leafs hired him, Mike Babcock gave an interview with

"“How many people from Ontario play in the National Hockey League? Once we make it safe, they’re coming home. Mark my words, they’ll be coming.”Mike Babcock, May 2015."

Furthermore, Babcock made his intentions clear through multiple interviews during the media frenzy following his groundbreaking announcement. Accepting an offer to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015 was the biggest news surrounding the team. In decades.

"“I love to win, I have a burning want to win. But I also want to win in the end. I don’t just want to get in the playoffs. We have to create an environment that is safe for players. What I mean by that is, when you win every day it becomes pretty safe for the players. Right now it’s a hard spot.”MLHS staff Maple Leafs Hotstove"

Toronto Maple Leafs, the next step

May 2018 is a busy month. May 22, in particular, being a busy day. While Lou Lamoriello turns in his keys and accepts a job to rescue the NY Islanders, Mark Hunter quietly resigns. Kyle Dubas is laying the groundwork for his first two moves. The GM hired Laurence Gilman and Brandon Pridham is promoted, both to assistant GM positions. While Kyle Dubas splits his focus between the Leafs the Marlies quest for the Calder Cup, the Maple Leafs stay busy with the upcoming entry draft as well as preparing for July 1st Free Agent Frenzy.

In 2016, the team had just finished last overall. Though there is potential, the sales pitch to free agent Steven Stamkos consisted of what ifs and maybes. Steven Stamkos future considerations? The Lightning is a safer bet.

Kyle Dubas is hopeful for the opportunity to pitch John Tavares. A chance to rectify the failure two summers earlier to land star Steven Stamkos. If the opportunity arises he will be ready.

Toronto Maple Leafs,  future considerations and everything that implies

John Tavares is the future considerations. Hopefully, one of many to come. On July 1st, 2018 the former captain of the NY Islanders shocked the hockey world. He announced he would not be returning to the team that drafted him. Where he proudly wore the ‘C’ for nine long years while giving them everything he had.

Rather, he had signed a seven-year $77 million dollar contract with his childhood heroes. JT is coming home to live his dream.  He took a hometown discount to do so.

Toronto Maple Leafs, if you build it they will come

After listening to six presentations and asking questions of the Islanders, the Maple Leafs, the Sharks, Bruins and Stars, John Tavares decompressed at home. In life, timing is everything. There are no do-overs. So while listening to Kyle Dubas, his hockey vision and where he fit,  John Tavares is very impressed. The result, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the best fit. Offering his best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup. Probably more than one. The team will also be a contender for the term of his contract and beyond.

Brendan Shanahan has overseen the construct of the current Maple Leafs. While under intense media glare, he never wavered. Building a place where players and their families feel safe, where the organization has everyone’s back. Furthermore, Kyle Dubas is a key part in his vision.

It seems like some in the media continue to feel that it was a mistake hiring Kyle Dubas over the more experienced Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter. The signing of John Tavares is proof that Kyle Dubas is the right choice. For now and in the future.

Not bad for a rookie.

Next: Grading the Atlantic Teams Off Season

Thanks for reading.

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