NHL Rumor Mill – May 20, 2023
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.
WHO COULD REPLACE DUBAS AS LEAFS GENERAL MANAGER?
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.
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?
Who do you want to see as your club’s new general manager, Leafs fans? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
WHAT NEXT FOR DUBAS?
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.