Tag: Kyle Dubas

Lou Lamoriello

Full autonomy: Lamoriello’s place in Leafs’ chain of command


How would a front office that once pondered not naming a GM at all handle the addition of an executive who’s accustomed to wielding Zeus-like control?

When the shock of the Toronto Maple Leafs naming Lou Lamoriello as their new general manager wore off, people began wondering how, exactly, everything would work. It seems simple enough, though: Lamoriello will wield the typical stopping power of a GM, answering only to Brendan Shanahan, as TSN noted from his presser:

“That’s what I’m told,” Lamoriello said. “I report to Brendan. And the other people report to me.”

While Lamoriello noted that he’s “not going to be here for a lifetime,” the 72-year-old’s three-year contract is at least part of the argument against this being a transitional hire (with young assistant GM Kyle Dubas potentially taking the reins).

Instead, it sounds the future of that executive position is quite open-ended:

It’s truly been a drastic couple of years of changes with Shanahan in charge, as the team replaced Randy Carlyle with Mike Babcock, Dave Nonis with Lamoriello, seemed to do a 180 on analytics and even traded Phil Kessel.

As much as executives preach patience, it’s tough to shake the feeling that the drama’s just starting.

Here’s video of the press conference:

No GM, no problem for the Maple Leafs?

Mike Babcock, Brendan Shanahan

People can get pretty obsessed with job titles in sports, especially in a city where blame and attention are in such large supply as they are in Toronto.

Maple Leafs executive Brendan Shanahan is restructuring the team to the beat of his own drum, though, it seems … and apparently naming an official general manager really isn’t a big deal right now. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston passes along this intriguing bit from Shanahan on Tuesday:

A gut reaction is that this is a serious nod of approval for assistant GM Kyle Dubas, especially just days after HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman reported that trade calls are going through the young executive:

The Maple Leafs sent out a communiqué last week indicating any team wanting to talk trade should go through assistant GM Kyle Dubas. This led to speculation maybe Dubas would be elevated to the full-time GM position, but that appears premature. Director of player personnel Mark Hunter is responsible for draft selections, so it doesn’t look like Toronto wanted to add another 72-ounce Lone Star steak to his plate. What it does say, though, is Brendan Shanahan really trusts Dubas. That’s big responsibility at this time in the franchise’s existence.

As you can see from that excerpt, Dubas isn’t controlling every facet of roster-building, as Hunter seemingly runs the draft show.

Maybe it really means that, for the time being, the Leafs boast a GM-by-committee approach?

Along with Dubas and Hunter, Shanahan likely holds significant sway (possibly the most). Even so, deep-pocketed new head coach Mike Babcock probably has some serious input into the makeup of the team, too. One can picture any number of ways the Maple Leafs may make decisions, and compartmentalizing them could very well allow people to play to their strengths.

One thing seems clear: this franchise is advancing well beyond the days when they seemingly didn’t spend a penny on analytics.


Speaking of spending money and doing things a GM might do, the Maple Leafs made it official that they’ve signed Petter Granberg and Tim Erixon to one-year deals while Zach Hyman received a two-year, two-way contract.

Sheldon Keefe named head coach of the Toronto Marlies

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds v London Knights

Sheldon Keefe has been named head coach of the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies.

Keefe won both the 2014-15 Canadian Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League coach of the year awards after leading the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to a league-best 54-12-0-2 record.

“We would like to thank the Soo Greyhounds ownership group and General Manager Kyle Raftis for giving us permission to approach Sheldon a few weeks ago,” said Toronto Maple Leafs Assistant GM Kyle Dubas in a statement. “As we went through this process, given our goal of finding an elite young coach to develop our prospects with the Marlies, it was clear to our management group that Sheldon Keefe was the best choice for our organization. For nearly a decade – since he arrived in Pembroke and through his time in Sault Ste. Marie – Sheldon has simply excelled at maximizing each players potential while coaching very successful teams at the same time. That balance is exactly what we set out to find for the Marlies.

“We feel we have a solid group of young prospects with the Marlies and we look forward to Sheldon leading them beginning with our Development Camp in early July.”

Dubas hired Keefe to coach the Greyhounds when he was named the team’s GM in 2012.

The 34-year-old takes over as Marlies’ bench boss after Gord Dineen was removed last month. Dineen was offered an opportunity to remain with the club in a different role – there is no word on whether he’s accepted the re-assignment.

Dineen’s assistants Derek King and Ben Simon were also fired on May 19.

According to Frank Seravalli of the Daily News, Toronto interviewed Kris Knoblauch, who coached Connor McDavid and the OHL’s Erie Otters, for the Marlies’ position.

During his playing days Keefe appeared in 125 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning scoring 12 goals and 24 points.

Report: Leafs to speak with OHL coach Sheldon Keefe


The Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly just one of two teams, which filed paper work to interview Mike Babcock for their coaching vacancy.

They may also have a name in mind to potentially join Babcock behind the bench.

According to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox, the Leafs are expected to approach Sheldon Keefe for a coaching role with either the Leafs or their American Hockey League affiliate.

Keefe, who coached the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds to a league-best 54-12-2 this season, has ties to Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas.

Dubas hired Keefe to coach the Greyhounds when he was named the team’s GM in 2012.

Toronto fired interim head coach Peter Horachek along with assistants Steve Spott, Chris Dennis and goaltending coach Rick St. Croix on April 12.

Prior to coaching Keefe appeared in 125 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning scoring 12 goals and 12 assists.

Leafs won’t turn to prospect William Nylander for help

William Nylander

Despite scoring just seven goals in eight games (all losses) the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t recall 18-year-old prospect William Nylander for help offensively.

Nylander, who joined the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies in mid-January, scored his first AHL goal in Utica Friday night.

“It’s not time to call up William at all,” Leafs general manager Dave Nonis told the Toronto Star.

Nonis’ statement echoed that of his assistant Kyle Dubas.

Dubas addressed the plan for Nylander on Jan. 12 and was asked about the possibility of a recall at some point during the final months of the regular season.

“Right now, there’s not a chance,” said Dubas. “We need to be patient. We can’t live and die with if he has a good weekend.

“I know the media will continue to ask every good weekend that he has and the answer will be ‘no’. We need to be patient, develop him properly and have him come up when he’s able to sustain being an NHL player versus come up and then go back down.”

Nylander made his AHL debut on Jan. 23 and played in his third game Friday night.

The forward, who was Toronto’s first-round selection (eighth overall) in 2014, had eight goals and 20 points in 21 games with Modo in the SHL prior to joining the Marlies.

Related: Leafs’ prospect Nylander using Bruins’ Pastrnak as motivation