Kyle Dubas has looked like the front-runner to become the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but according to Sportsnet insider Nick Kypreos, the team might be leaning in a different direction.
“A lot of executives I’ve spoken with believe that when it comes to the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it goes in the favour of Mark Hunter, for no other reason than his resume,” Kypreos said during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.
Hunter, 55, is an assistant general manager with the club. He played for five teams during his 12-year NHL career and after retirement, became a successful coach in junior hockey. He also served as owner, vice-president, and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. He joined the Leafs in 2014 as the director of player personnel.
Dubas, 32, also joined the Leafs in 2014 following a stint as GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
“A lot of executives still believe that Kyle Dubas pales in comparison to the years of experience and multiple Memorials Cups [of Hunter],” Kypreos said. “The issue for [team president] Brendan Shanahan going forward is that if he decides to go with Kyle Dubas, he runs the risk of losing Mark Hunter, who would have a tough time answering to Dubas.”
Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman said Saturday it is believed Hunter and Shanahan met Friday to dicsuss the situation.
The GM position became open last Monday, when Shanahan moved Lou Lamoriello from GM to a senior adviser role.