Fancy that: Reactions to Toronto hiring Dubas

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Many believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring more stats-friendly hockey mind Kyle Dubas as an assistant GM signals a significant change of pace for an organization often described as staunchly anti-analytic. That’s certainly what fueled more than a few jokes on Twitter, at least:

Still, the biggest theme seems to be a willingness to hear new ideas and consider other outlooks from Dubas and the Maple Leafs organization overall:

Maple Leafs executive Brendan Shanahan backed that much up during a press conference, including this quote transcribed by NHL.com:

“Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years,” Shanahan said. “He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come.”

Actually, this is the real Shanahan money quote:

Could this front office change ruffle a few old-school feathers? Time will tell, yet it’s something that at least a few people are pondering.

Then again, to some, this move seems to bridge the gap between stats-minded and more “mainstream” approaches:

Indeed, some of the excitement comes from the notion that he’s not “just a stats guy.” That’s something the 28-year-old executive points out himself.

Is it too much to read into the signing of David Booth as the first sign of Dubas’ influence? Probably, but for the many Maple Leafs fans who have been frustrated about this team’s direction, it wasn’t exactly a discouraging development, either.

Here’s the press conference with Dubas and Shanahan: