Regarding his Relationship with Mike Babcock
It may not seem like that huge of a concern upon initial thought, but there are some fans that are curious to see how both Dubas and Babcock will work together. Especially given that players Babcock gave large minutes to like Leo Komarov and Roman Polak are now gone.
If there were any fears that the dynamic between the two would never work, Dubas mentioned that he doesn’t foresee any conflicts arising between him and the Leafs bench boss:
"What I have seen from Mike in the summer from working with him: He’s very open to any ideas. He goes out of his way to try to learn more from everybody on our staff and what they are doing and then incorporating that into his larger, day-to-day routine and picture. He is very focused on where we can continue to improve as a team. We just continue to have that dialogue day in and day out. I think I can learn a lot from Mike and I think I can help Mike with a lot of things, similar to what I hope I’ve been able to help Sheldon [Keefe] with both in the Soo and with the Marlies."
If there is one thing that we as fans should give Babcock credit for is his willingness to try out a different playstyle. Heck, he even talked about how he liked the Leafs fast play style following a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders.
Dubas also mentioned the reason players like Komarov and Polak left weren’t because they don’t fit his play style, but simply allowed them to explore free agency. In the case of Matt Martin, he acknowledges the importance of Martin’s character, but it sounds like he was seen more as a bridge piece for getting the team to its desired destination (wink-wink).
Putting all of this in simpler terms, Dubas is excited to work with Babcock because he feels they can help each other out and roster turnover wasn’t in spite of the coach. Sounds to me like things will be just fine this season.
The five slides represent the key talking points, but the remainder of the interview touched on many other topics. Some of these include why they signed Tavares, increased expectations, the forward core, and his experience working with Lou Lamoriello.
The full interview can be found below as well:
Thanks for reading!
All transcribed quotes in this article are from Alec Brownscombe of Maple Leafs Hot Stove.