What to think of Kyle Dubas’ murky future with the Maple Leafs

Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs
Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, Kyle Dubas discussed his expiring contract at the Toronto Maple Leafsmedia day, where he acknowledged his status as a pending free agent general manager.

Without a contract going into the season, Dubas has no issue going through the year with the uncertainty. He said the following on Wednesday:

"“My view of it is that if we have the year that we’re capable of and the team plays the way that it’s capable of, my situation will get taken care of without issue. I don’t worry about it.”"

While Dubas may be fine with hinging everything on this season, one question comes to mind: is this justified? Should Dubas’ job hang in the balance this season?

The positives of Kyle Dubas’ tenure

Dubas represents an interesting challenge to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played a large part in the rebuild and in acquiring a majority of their core, but he did not become the general manager until the team’s core was already formed.

However, he did retain forwards Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner while acquiring center John Tavares and defenseman Jake Muzzin. He kept the team together and added more talent to it, and they have since had a lot of regular season success.

Dubas’ tenure surrounded a team at the cap ceiling ready to make a deep playoff push, so most of his moves outside of contract extensions seem small. However, he made plenty of shrewd moves to build the team’s depth, such as the acquisitions of goalie Jack Campbell and defensemen Ilya Lyubushkin and Mark Giordano, for example.

Not every move comes with success, but Dubas has two important qualities; he quickly recognizes flops and he always finds ways to make his moves fit underneath the cap.

Suffice to say, Dubas does not appear obviously incompetent. He made many moves that benefitted the team and put them in a better position. As with most general managers, he makes mistakes. However, he generally recognized his mistakes early and moved the players. There are worse general managers than Dubas.

Dubas built a team that dominates in the regular season and shows that it can at least get three wins in the playoffs. The thing that may kill his tenure is that the team has not won a series in the playoffs.