Leafs GM Dubas Gets His Man With Keefe Hiring

by | Nov 21, 2019 | News, NHL | 3 comments



  1. Firing Babcock doesn’t address the team’s failure to build a decent blueline corps. Tavares may go down as the best player of his generation to never play in the Stanley Cup finals.

  2. Great article Mark.

    Lots of collective blame can go around, but ultimately I believe it was Babcocks failure to adapt to todays game, and in game management. He played his favourites too much (Hainsey, Zaitsev, Komorov, Reilly Hyman) and to a fault. Think back to game 7 with a one legged Hyman taking face offs, not putting Matthews on when he could make a difference in a big game, and overplaying Reilly this year with heavy 5 on 5 minutes #1 PP and #1 PK when he is clearly nursing an injury. Refusing to even try Barrie, one of the top offensive D men in the league for the last number of years on the #1 PP. Not allowing Freddy to play one set of back to backs when the team might have benefitted, or deciding what games might be best for each goalie, instead of an automatic chronologival rotation. Not allowing a skilled veteran like Spezza to breath some life and mentorship into the room until injures absolutely forced his hand. Ultimately the teachr refused to learn, and did not allow his students to explore and grow. I appreciate all he achieved and has done, but something had to change, and it was not going to be his ways.

  3. Thanks for a great writeup Mark.

    In my opinon, Mike Babcock was the perfect coach to help the team through the transition of ‘there will be pain’ to ‘trust the process’.

    Unfortunately his inability to maximize his team rather than try to force the team to fit into a mould it wasn’t constructed for is ultimately why it was time.

    There are legitimate arguments out there regarding the choices made in Dubas’ composition, but it is what it is, and either the coach can adapt to that, or they can’t.

    Even Randy Carlyle with his _many_ flaws might be ahead of Babcock in this area, ‘working with what he had’.

    I still believe Babcock is capable and can succeed again, perhaps with a different team composition more suited to his style? More veteran laden / ‘heavy’ team composition maybe?