Kyle Dubas is no longer the Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM after five seasons

TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for a new general manager after the team announced Friday that it had decided to part ways with Kyle Dubas.

Toronto won its first playoff series in almost two decades this year. The Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, but lost to the Florida Panthers.

Dubas contract was due to expire on June 30, 2019.

“I would like to thank Kyle for his unwavering dedication over these last nine seasons with the organization, including his last five as general manager,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said in a statement. “Kyle fostered a great culture within our dressing room and staff, and consistently pushed to make our team better season over season.”

Shanahan was to address the media at Scotiabank Arena on Friday afternoon.

An emotional Dubas, 37, said Monday he wasn’t sure if he would continue on as GM, citing the stress on his young family.

Dubas, who was 28 years old at the time, joined the Leafs as assistant general manager in 2014. He managed the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies to a Calder Cup title in 2018.

He took over as Toronto general manager from Lou Lamoriello in May 2018 as part of a succession plan under Shanahan’s direction.

The Leafs experienced unprecedented regular-season success under Dubas — viewed as a young, bright hockey mind with a forward-thinking approach to analytics — over his five years in charge.

Toronto went 221-109-4 during his tenure. Dubas also didn’t shy away from big moves — he fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Mike Babcock in November 2019 and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe — but struggled to find the right mix in the playoffs until this spring.

The Leafs lost to Boston in seven games in 2019 and fell to Columbus in the 2020 pandemic-necessitated qualifying round. The team blew a 3-1 lead against Montreal in a disastrous 2021 collapse before showing promise in a tight, seven-game loss to Tampa in 2022 that set the stage for last month’s breakthrough.

Dubas offered unwavering support to Toronto’s so-called “Core Four” of offensive talent consisting of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander.

“As a person, he’s been unbelievable throughout my whole time here,” Marner said of Dubas after the Leafs were eliminated by Florida. “Definitely a special person to have around. He is very caring for his staff and players.

“Something that we’re all pretty lucky to have.”


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