The Toronto Maple Leafs are not bringing back general manager Kyle Dubas for next season. The Maple Leafs finished the season in second place in the Atlantic Division before defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. It was Toronto’s first series win in the postseason since 2004. The Maple Leafs would go on to lose to the Florida Panthers in the second round in five games. After the season, the Maple Leafs were unsure if Dubas would return. Now, we know the team will move on and open up a search for a new GM.
Dubas was hired back in 2014 to be assistant general manager under Dave Nonis, who was let go in 2015. Instead of promoting Dubas right away, president Brendan Shanahan brought in Lou Lamoriello, who would leave and go on to be GM for the New York Islanders. Dubas took over for Lamoriello in 2018. Dubas was responsible for hiring and firing Mike Babcock as head coach. Dubas also signed John Tavares in free agency and Auston Matthews to a contract extension after he was drafted.
This is a pivotal offseason for the Maple Leafs. Matthews is entering the final year of his contract and is set to get a decent raise. He could become the highest paid player in the NHL on his next deal. William Nylander is also up for a new contract after next season. Mitch Marner and John Tavares are free agents after the 2024-25 season. So some tough decisions are going to have to be made for the next general manager. That also includes head coach Sheldon Keefe, who appears unlikely to return.
A lot of armchair GMs believe the Maple Leafs need to make a significant move. That could be moving Nylander or Marner via trade. The Leafs have lacked talent on defense and in net for a while now and could use Nylander or Marner to find upgrades or get back some draft assets to infuse some youth. Matthews has somewhat made it clear he wants to stay in Toronto. He told reporters that was his intention. Athletes say a lot of things so we’ll take Matthews at his word for now.