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Shanahan Talks Reason Maple Leafs Moved On From Kyle Dubas

Brendan Shanahan met with the media on Friday and talked about his decision to not offer Kyle Dubas a contract extension.

Brendan Shanahan met with the media on Friday. He noted that last offseason he had talked with Kyle Dubas about finishing out his current contract without an extension in place so that Dubas could be judged on the full tenure of his first stint as the GM. When it became clear the Leafs were happy with the work Dubas had done, they wanted to get him signed. When doubt crept in that Dubas actually wanted to remain GM, Shanahan started to have his doubts.

Shanahan said he thought Dubas had a good NHL Trade Deadline. He said he approached Dubas and said he’d seen enough in his mind to offer Dubas an extension. He told Dubas to talk to his family, Dubas did so and came back a week later and said he was comfortable moving forward. He didn’t want the process of a new extension to be a distraction.

The team and GM moved on and Shanahan talked to Dubas’ agent and said those conversations were positive. He assumed the agent was offering updates and Shanahan felt that when the season ended or between playoff rounds, they could make an official announcement. If things in the playoffs went well, Shanahan felt both sides could move forward together. When the season ended abruptly in round 2, Shanny wanted to move forward quickly and Dubas was presented with a framework that was reflective of what he and his agent discussed. Kyle took the contract offer and seemed pleased to receive the offer so quickly. They talked about doing media, but only after a deal was closed. Dubas wanted to talk to the media and Shanahan respected that. At that point, Dubas mentioned that all of this had been quite hard on his family.

When Dubas did the media conference, Shanahan realized that Dubas hinting he might not want to be the GM was an issue for him. Understanding the pressure that everyone was under, Shanahan realized that he might need to look somewhere else. He began to do so, still hoping Dubas would be happy to stay on. When Shanahan didn’t have any more clarity and then finally met privately a couple of days later, their meeting further made him feel like Dubas’ head wasn’t in it. Shanahan said his focus then again continued towards wondering what the team would look like with a new GM.

Brendan Shanahan Maple Leafs President
Brendan Shanahan Maple Leafs President

On Thursday, Shanahan was told that Dubas’ agent would reach out and when he was contacted, a new financial package was presented to him. There was a gap between what was counteroffered, but Dubas did want to be the GM. Shanahan, by then, had gotten to a new place in his head about what was best for the team. Shanahan took a little time to think about things and Shanahan ultimately told Dubas they would not be renewing his contract.

Shanahan said he appreciated Dubas’ honesty about his family situation and his love for the job. He knows that any role, not just in Toronto, can be difficult for anyone on any team.

What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?

Shanahan said that he would immediately begin pursuing candidates for the next GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. When asked if this broke down over money, Shanahan said it was more than that. It was motivated by Dubas’ uncertainty about how much he had the passion to be the team’s GM. When he saw Dubas’ press conference, Shanahan hadn’t ruled Dubas out, but he had doubts.

As for what’s next, Shanahan said he’s focused more on hiring an experienced general manager. As for if coaches will remain or other personnel decisions will be made, Shanahan said that some of the decisions have to be the responsibility of the new GM. He said he would lean heavily on Brandon Pridham, but that there are many people inside the organization that are ready to come back and do the work that needs to be done to remain competitive.

The Leafs won’t rush the decision on a new GM, but the decision to hire someone is a priority and he believes that a new GM needs to be hired rather soon. When asked if Pridham was going to be considered for the role of new GM, Shanahan said he wouldn’t rule anyone out at this point. He said that the team has a staff in place that will get to work on the NHL Draft and while wounded by today’s news, they are prepared to do the job and get to the next level.

How Will Dubas Feel About All of This?

Pierre LeBrun of TSN notes, “Kyle Dubas respectfully declined to comment when I reached out just now. There will be a time and a place for that, he said.”

It will be interesting to hear Dubas’ side of the story when he speaks about this. Shanahan makes it sounds like Dubas’ dragging his feet and coming back with a higher counteroffer let doubt creep in and the Leafs decided there were better, more motivated people out there.

Next: Could the Maple Leafs Pass on Re-Signing Michael Bunting?



  1. Pingback: Dubas Declines Comment On Shanahan's Dig He Dragged Feet


    May 19, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    is this some kind of gigantic hoax…where is the recording of shanahan saying ANY of this stuff…there is recordings of EVERYTHING else, but…

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