Kyle Dubas was named general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday, yet less than one year ago the possibility of him leaving the organization briefly arose.
In May of 2017, the Colorado Avalanche asked and received permission from the Maple Leafs to talk with the then-assistant GM about a front office job, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported at the time. Obviously, a move to Colorado never came to fruition, but Dubas opened up about what happened with that situation and much more during an appearance on Prime Time Sports.
When asked how close he came to leaving the Maple Leafs organization, Dubas explained team president Brendan Shanahan shut down talks before things got very far.
“The process never got to the point where it was an actual decision,” Dubas explained. “It was an idea and considered and then Brendan made the call that I was going to be staying, so here we are.”
When asked whether or not having his team’s president block a potential job opportunity bothered him, Dubas replied: “I think in the short term, you have an opportunity [to potentially land your first NHL GM job] and you have tried to work towards that but after the initial discussion with Brendan and kind of getting over that I just said, ‘You know what, you can look at it and feel sorry for myself or get to work on the season ahead with the Maple Leafs.’”
Dubas added that Shanahan never made him any promises at the time about being Lou Lamoriello’s successor. In fact, Dubas said he relied on Lamoriello for support then.
“I think that’s really where my relationship with Lou was a big benefit,” Dubas said. “In leaning on Lou during that, in leaning on Lou during the year, to help improve myself and thus help improve the hockey club.”
Dubas joined the Maple Leafs as a 28-year-old in July 2014 to work under then-GM Dave Nonis following a successful stint as GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Lamoriello replaced Nonis the following summer on a three-year contract.