NHL Rumor Mill – May 20, 2023

by | May 20, 2023 | Rumors | 25 comments

Who could become the next general manager of the Leafs? Where could former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas end up? Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Sonny Sachdeva looked at potential replacements for former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. He noted that team president Brendan Shanahan indicated that he’ll be open-minded in his search but will put the onus on experience.

Shanahan intends to rely heavily on assistant GM Brandon Pridham as the club conducts its search. He confirmed that Pridham will be in the running for the job.

Former Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving (NHL.com)

Sachdeva wondered if Brad Treliving might be among the candidates. He stepped down last month from the Calgary Flames after nearly a decade as their general manager.

TORONTO SUN: Pridham and Treliving are also among Terry Koshan’s list of potential candidates. Former Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, Carolina Hurricanes assistant general manager Eric Tulsky, former Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Mathieu Darche, and former Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman were among other notables on his list.

DAILY FACEOFF: Matt Larkin’s list included Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Kris Draper, Edmonton Oilers assistant GM Steve Staios and Ray Whitney, who spent over half a decade as a director for the department of player safety and narrowly lost out to Mike Grier for the role of San Jose Sharks general manager.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would make sense to promote Pridham given his experience with the Leafs organization. If Shanahan opts for someone else, perhaps Tulsky, Darche, Draper, Staios or Whitney would be better choices to bring a fresh perspective to the job.

Whoever gets the job faces some big questions that must be addressed soon.

Do they replace head coach Sheldon Keefe and his staff?

Do they shake up the “Core Four” (Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander) by trading one of them? Will they re-sign Matthews and Nylander to contract extensions or trade one of them or maybe put both on the block? Will it be Mitch Marner who becomes a trade chip?

Can they make oft-injured goalie Matt Murray’s contract disappear? How will they replace their unrestricted free agents if Ryan O’Reilly and Michael Bunting hit the open market?

Who do you want to see as your club’s new general manager, Leafs fans? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nick Horwat suggests not closing the door on the speculation linking Dubas to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the postseason. While the now-former Leafs GM said earlier this week that he’d step away for a while if he didn’t return with Toronto, his firing by Shanahan could leave the door ajar for the Penguins if he’s interested.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz wonders if Dubas might be a match for the New York Islanders given the uncertainty over Lou Lamoriello’s future as their general manager. Dubas and Lamoriello have a good relationship stretching back to their time working together in Toronto.

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane wonders if Dubas’ availability might affect the Flames’ search for a new general manager.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas said that this season was difficult on his family and he wouldn’t put them through a move if he didn’t return with the Leafs. With a bit of time to reflect, however, maybe he’ll change his mind provided his family is fine with it.

We’ll find out soon enough what the immediate future holds for Dubas. Any club that is interested in hiring him will want to do so as soon as possible with the 2023 NHL Draft (June 28-29) and the start of free agency (July 1) on the horizon.


  1. Wild ride for the Leafs fans this past half century.
    The bonus is, there are plenty of great candidates to choose from. I hope they pick Chia.

    The Pens are owned by business people now. This team was purchased to make money. Tre is the perfect person for that position. He’s a great front man and face for the business side of the franchise.

    The Flames are probably gonna choose Conny. I’m not 100% sure if they will given the strong candidate list. I just hope they don’t mess it up.

    These are 3 incredibly important positions to fill. Next some may need to bring in coaches and other staff of their choosing. Then the draft is up next.
    Hardly a dull moment this season.

    Yotes need to stay in AZ. We’re starting to see players emerge from that area. Good players.
    The tree will bare fruit if it’s cared for properly. Sometimes, that requires new ownership, or other times, just a decent pruning.

  2. If hiring Quenneville will cause an uproar, hiring Bowman will cause a bigger one. We don’t know how involved in the Beach cover up Quenneville was. For all we know, he was just being a “good soldier” and following orders. But there is no doubt Bowman orchestrated the cover up and should be banned from the NHL for life.

  3. I think the Canes would go big for Marner or Willie. They will have plenty of cap space and a very good Dman to give in a return, along with a prospect and a 1st.
    Such as Marner for Pesce, a 1wt and Suzi or Drury or another prospect
    Then the Leafs would have space to re-sign O’Reilly as well.

    • Too much to give IMHO

  4. A New leafs Coach.
    Coach Q would be just what the leafs need behind the bench & instant respect as a coach with his experince and his skill set for the leafs to get to the next level…

    A New leafs GM
    Getting rid of one of the big 4 contracts will be one of his main jobs… it has not worked for 6 years now…..its time to change and a clean slate

    1/ Tavares should be first to go…✔️
    2/ Matt Murray contract should be 2nd to go✔️

    keep the 3 young guys, Mathews, Marnier, & Nylander.

    if they trade Mitch Mariner that may push his best buddy and UFA in 2024 Austin Mathews contract to leave the leafs⁉️

    Shannahan may have to get assistant GM Brandon Pridham working the phones on this ASAP…..
    to get some ground work done before the draft next month….🤔

    • Taveras has a NM contract, and said he is staying in Toronto (pajama boy). So that is a non starter. They have to sign Matthews within the first week of eligibility, otherwise he might be the traded party. Settle Matthews first before trading anyone.

      • redmonsters,

        I would Not say thats a non starter…
        it will be leaked out the the leafs want to trade JT… the GM will say yes we have have conversations about moving JT.. then they will get the media involved….
        who would you rather trade ….❓Austin Mathews or
        John Tavares . Leaf fans will all say Tavares 100%

        they the player has to aprove a NMC trade to a destanation they are happy with,

        out of the big 4, JT make the most sence to trade
        33/34 yr old who who is slowing down

        Re Austin Mathews,
        He will not sign there untill one of the big 4 are traded… and if they trade the Wrong member of the 4…. he will be Gone as a UFA……….❓

        Then the leafs will be left with one of the big 4 at the end of 2024….🤔
        Yes its a Real Mess

      • Who’s gonna trade for a 33-34 year old guy that’s slowing down and costs 11 million in cap space.

        It does make all the sense in The world for Toronto, but not much for a team taking him on!

        Anyone making north of 9-10 per and any kind of term is difficult to move these days. Regardless of age, production etc.

      • CO a $9M or more player that isn’t showing value for his cap hit (JT is just shy of a PPG player and still effective) can be moved for a similar player…for example JT for Doughty. A bit more term on Doughty but you get the point. FYI both players I mentioned are just examples not what I think they will do or should do.

  5. Finding a GM to accept the job in Toronto won’t be easy.

    TML are perennial playoff team that went through a playoff drought of roughly ten years pre-Dubas

    TML are at or near the top of NHL standings during Dubas tenure.

    TML are cap-strapped yet Dubas was able to consistently tweaked the roster.

    A new GM doesn’t have the luxury of missing the playoffs for 6 consecutive years or of retooling through the draft.

    Anything is possible but I think TML fans will rue the day Dubas was sent packing.

    • I see things differently, HF30.

      To summarize my post on the other daily headline, consider Dubas legacy and the lack of playoff wins, bottom 6 talent, thin D and squandered draft picks (including 1 in the first 4 rounds this year). What is there to point to as positive? The regular season? vichyssoise, not steak.

      There are only 32 NHL GM positions and no shortage of candidates. Yes, Toronto is a tough place to be a GM, but so are many places (Montreal!). There will be no shortage of interest and whomever does become the GM won’t be fettered with the misguided attachment to the Core 4.

      Good outcome for the Leafs going forward.

    • HF30. I don’t think it will be as hard as you think for Toronto to find a new GM, I’m sure Shanahan is quite busy fielding calls from potential candidates. Who wouldn’t want a chance to manage an original six team especially when your contract will likely be worth over 10 million dollars over its life. At 37 years of age, Dubas is set for life financially so I’m sure there will be plenty of people throwing their hats in.
      Yes, TML were cap-strapped but it was of his own doing. It was his idea to go after JT and sign him to an inflated contract which in turn set the stage for the other 3 to demand their “deserved” piece of the pie. I agree that every year he was able to bring in pieces to help with depth but the result was the same, playoff after playoff.
      Leaf fans will not miss Dubas (do Hab fans miss Bergevin?) because he did not deliver Lord Stanley and it has been 56 years and counting. It’s time for a new vision.

  6. If Bergevin, Chiarelli and Bowman are being considered for Toronto’s GM, the pool must be very shallow. Bergevin did nothing in Montreal but saddle them with large contracts on aging/underperforming players. Chiarelli has made some of the dumbest trades on the last 20 years (a 1st and a 2nd round pick for Griffin Reinhardt, Taylor Hall for Adam Larson, Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome then strome for Ryan Spooner) and Bowman is a gutless ass who could have helped a young man who was being victimized by a sexual predator but chose to ignore it and orchestrated a cover-up.

    • Bergevin’s record was decidedly mixed, Gored. His worst trade was Sergachev for Drouin, a trade that still bites (but at the time was generally seen as a good trade for the Habs). He brought in Charot and Petry at low cost and got good service from them. No Cups, but a Cup final. Half a sandwich on that account.

      But I wonder what aging/underperforming contracts you are talking about?

      There are currently 5 Habs with contracts that have 4 years remaining. Three are from the Bergen era. Of those Gallagher’s would fit your comment. Price’s is in LTIR so there is no way to judge how he would be performing.

      So where do you see the Habs being saddled with all these bad contracts?

  7. I know some people will not agree with me, some might think that my comments will be biased because I am a habs fan but I am speaking in all honnesty here and I don’t think Mitch Marner should be the one to go..

    Honnestly, If I had to trade one of the top three (because will all know the Leafs are stuck with Tavares) Matthews would be the one I would consider shipping out and I’ll explain why.

    In my opinion when time comes for a game changing player to save the day, Auston doesn’t make the difference like the Matthew Tkachuks and Leon Draisaitls of this world do. He is pretty uni-dimensionnal, an amazing goal scorer but he seems to lack that killer instinct, not to mention that he is not very physical or the best defensive player on the team.

    On the other hand, even when he is in a small drought, Marner seems to put more effort (maybe a better mentality) and is a good to way player and can compensate with is defensive play. William Nylander is getting better and better every year

    So why not take advange on Matthew’s huge market value and rettol the team with youngsters. Chicago will never give the 1st overall draft pick and I totally understand them but would Anaheim or Columbus consider doing that kind of a trade ? Especially Columbus that already have Gaudreau and Laine on their roster. Then start over with a Fantilli or Michkov and a prospect or something like that.

    Canadiens have been an average team patching for so long with 100 point seasons leading to nothing, I think the Leafs fans deserve more than that

    That’s just my opinion, it’s worth what it’s worth 😉

    Have a good day Yall !

    • My god sorry for all the typos : Two-way player, take advantage oF and retool

      Sorry about that ! 😉

    • Hey Mike, in terms of your opinions regarding trading Mathews over any of the others, I can’t say with 100% certainty that’s a wise way to go but you’re saying to trade a guy that’s able to score 60 goals in the season and put the team on his shoulders during the TB series.

      Now I’m guessing your perception of Mathews is based on his performance in the second round or maybe his play when he was younger than his current age of 25… but I don’t know because via eye test or looking at his stats both advanced and regular, the guys a stud, any way you look at it but that might not be enough of a shock, right?

      There’s never a simple solution to complex issues, and these issues, like for any team, unfortunately for us are not privy to knowing the magnitude of them like as if we were internally involved. For that I blame the lazy sorts reporting that would rather sensationalize events than maybe doing some work and investigate the facts.

  8. I saw Treliving grim drafting stats, assuming the stats are accurate – a big ‘zero’ of drafted players from round 2 -7 played in the NHL.
    His trades haven’t been that great as well.
    Pass . . .

    • It is, when you look at since 2014, spectacularly limp, that’s for sure.

      But how much of that is on the Flames’ scouting staff? By and large, GMs simply don’t have the time to traipse all over the globe to personally scout prospects and so rely on the recommendations of their scouts.

      Maybe a close Flames fan can enlighten us as to whether there has been a shake-up of the scouting department since 2014.

      • it’s a lock if Dylan Mulvany wants the GM job in Toronto unless he takes the bench social worker job for the Calgary Flames

    • Wince when does Trono draft anybody? LOL

    • @Greg how about Andersson, Kylington Magiapane Dube and Fox all drafted in rds 2-7. How`s that for drafting. A 1000 times better than Dubas eh

  9. I honestly wish that teams were not allowed to request a player with a full NMC or NTC to ask if they would accept a trade. It would cut down on the amount of clauses handed out.

    As well if a player with a NTC or NMC requests a trade they now lose their clause. So they can not be like “I just want to go to this team and you have to accept whatever they offer”.

  10. Mark Hunter for Leafs GM and Gerard Gallant as coach.Matthews is the one to go as he will fetch the best return.

  11. The Leafs need to move on from O’Keefe.

    The one thing that team has always lacked in the playoffs and regular season is killer instinct. O’Keefe has never been able to instill that in the team.

    Tavares had it when he was with the NYI, but it’s been missing in Toronto. Really, out of their core four only Nylander elevates his game in the playoffs. The rest just seem to expect to coast on their talent alone. There never seems to be anyone behind them driving them to elevate beyond that like you see in real contenders.

    They also always seem to lack cohesion as a team. It’s like it’s always the core four and then everybody else loosely compiled into lines that rarely have an identity of their own.