Toxic Toronto Maple Leafs Fans Need a Reality Check

Apr 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Large flags are carries by the fans during the anthem of game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Large flags are carries by the fans during the anthem of game three of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jul 13, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas  . Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Give Them More Than Everything or Else

It’s just over three years into his tenure as Toronto’s general manager and Kyle Dubas has already proven he’s there to address anything necessary to shape a better landscape for his club. Yet, somehow, this failure falls on his shoulders?

Within his first season, Dubas was instrumental in progressing their defensive sturdiness when he added Jake Muzzin, a top-four pairing piece.

The following year, as it became clear that Toronto’s youthful lineup wasn’t responding to Mike Babcock’s tactics, Dubas made a change that provided immediate dividends.

Shortly thereafter, despite backup goaltending seeming to be a negative narrative the Maple Leafs couldn’t shake, he orchestrated the trade that welcomed Campbell to town.

This team has a level of quality at its core that would have otherwise been spread across the league had their general manager not effectively locked each of them in for years to come. All as they play through their prime, to boot.

While you can choose to shudder at the thought of the paydays he’s handed out to his top stars, it’s equally relevant to reflect on the fact that Dubas found a way to keep the strengths of this team tied together.

As this franchise’s goals have progressed, so has his approach to managing those expectations. While a former fixation on top-end skill resulted in an imbalanced approach, Dubas’ ability to shift strategies heading into 2020-21 should have alleviated any doubt aimed at his methods.

Toronto had one of the most active offseason last summer, all because Dubas knew what his team needed at the time and he was ready to make it their reality. All while being as fiscally responsible as possible.

Proven Performers & Affordable Acquisitions

Joe Thronton: $700,000 AAV
Zach Bogosian: $1 million AAV
Wayne Simmonds: $1.5 million AAV
T.J. Brodie: $5 million AAV

Dubas added grit, size, experience, and leadership, up and down their lineup. He followed that up with a boost to their postseason planning, acquiring players like Alex Galchenyuk, David Rittich, and Nick Foligno.

Everything fans have been demanding since well before he accepted his current position, yet it took him taking over to make it so. And you want to point to Dubas as the reason they faltered?

He has done nothing less than make every necessary adjustment, in any which way he’s been able to. Suggesting otherwise is simply false.

I expect he’ll continue to exemplify what it means to be aware and astute, in the ways that benefit his organization best. Ironically, Dubas’ willingness to make moves is all the more reason to keep him around.