Brendan Shanahan and the Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Friday that the team was parting ways with Kyle Dubas, whose contract was expiring as of Jun. 30.
Shanahan spoke to the media shortly after to discuss the decision, and made it clear that making it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004 didn't make anyone in the front office feel better about another postseason disappointment.
Based on multiple sources, it looks as if Dubas sent an email to Shanahan on Thursday night, indicating he wanted to stay on as GM. At the same time, Dubas' agent requested a pay bump in a new contract, which reportedly led to Shanahan firing Dubas.
Certainly a bold move to ask for a pay bump on Dubas' end when you've failed to deliver; in this case, a Stanley Cup that Toronto has been yearning for since 1967.
“Brendan Shanahan admits that there was a shift in his thinking after watching Kyle Dubas's media conference last Monday,” wrote Sportsnet's Elliote Friedman.
“Prior to that, the two were working on an extension. Shanahan said Dubas's representatives presented him with a new financial package on Thursday, while Dubas said by email he wished to remain. But, ultimately, Shanahan decided to make the change.”
It looks as if Dubas' comments at the team's end-of-season media availability may have sealed his fate. All that said, Shanahan said that Dubas did an “excellent job” last summer, and made “some very good moves” at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline.
The Athletic's Pierre LeBun reached out to Dubas shortly after the press conference, who declined to comment: “There will be a time and a place for that.”
Brendan Shanahan also said that a key target in the search for the team's next general manager would be experience, something that Dubas had nothing of at the NHL level before coming to Toronto.
Without a doubt, it will be a fascinating offseason as the Leafs both look for a new GM, and try to find a way to have that always elusive postseason success.