On Friday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced the departure of their former General Manager, Kyle Dubas. In his first public statement following another disappointing season, Dubas expressed his need for some time away to prioritize his family. This announcement left fans speculating about the future of the team and Dubas’ place within it. After team President Brendan Shanahan addressed everyone and painted the picture that Dubas was less-than-motivated to remain on as GM, then that the organization had chosen to move on, fans and media awaited Dubas’ response. On Tuesday, they got it.
Pierre LeBrun had reached out immediately following Shanahan’s presser for comment, only to receive a respectful decline. Dubas made it clear that there would be an appropriate time and place to discuss his departure. As speculation surrounded what Dubas might do next, he released a long statement on social media, discussing the organization’s right to move on.
“While I understand there is interest surrounding the circumstances of my departure, I will not get into the specifics of what I consider to be reasonable and consistent but private discussions. In the days that I felt I needed to assess and evaluate my own view of the future, both with respect to the necessary direction of the Club and ensuring that I had the full support of my family for what I knew would be required in the off-season and years to follow, the organization, as is their right to do, decided to go in a different direction.
In the nine seasons since being afforded the opportunity to work in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, we have had the chance to learn a lot and have grown significantly through the ups and downs. We have watched our family double in size while developing meaningful relationships which will last a lifetime. It was an honour to be able to work in such an inspiring place, with dedicated, loyal people and an extremely passionate fan base. The impact of that and the relationships with all of the people at MLSE, from the board of directors through to the ushers at Scotiabank Arena, will forever hold a dear place in our hearts.
To the players, coaches and staff at the facility each day, past and present, thank you for your passion and commitment at every step of the journey together. It was a tremendous pleasure to work alongside you each day. We will roll from here.”
He declines to get into specifics on what he considers “reasonable and consistent but private discussions”, but as Dubas seems to confirm, initially, the team had intended to offer him a new contract once the season concluded. However, Shanahan revealed that the organization’s thinking started to change after Dubas addressed the media at the end of the season. Dubas didn’t get into what might have transpired after that press conference and before he was told they were moving on, but he did acknowledge their shift in thinking seemed to change.
The Maple Leafs are now faced with the task of finding a suitable replacement and people are wondering if Dubas intends to take another job. He finished with “We will roll from here.” which has some wondering what exactly that means.
Penguins in Pursuit
With intriguing timing, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been granted permission to speak with Dubas. This development raises eyebrows and adds an element of intrigue to Dubas’ future in the NHL. Will he consider a position with the Penguins, or is this simply an opportunity for him to explore potential options?
Dubas’ departure from the Toronto Maple Leafs has left fans with more questions than answers. and his statement doesn’t provide much in the way of detail. His decision to take time away from the game to focus on family underscores the importance of work-life balance, even in high-pressure sports management roles. These are things he addressed in his previous conversation with the media. As the Maple Leafs begin their search for a new GM, Dubas is taking the high road, thanking the team and the organization for everything they gave him.
If there’s another statement, it will likely be because Dubas is joining the Pittsburgh Penguins or exploring other opportunities within the league.
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