Video: Former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas Totally Fucked Himself
Well, THAT escalated quickly.
Brendan Shanahan fired his longtime GM, Kyle Dubas because Kyle Dubas is a Millennial. Period, Stop.
This might have been the weirdest fucking week in Maple Leaf (executive) history, but they are not immune from the same childish, entitled employee syndrome that plagues every business. Ego and overestimating one’s worth in the face of terrible fucking results.
Let’s build a quick timeline:
Kyle Dubas joined the Maple Leafs as an analytics dude and protege of Dale Hunter and Lou Lamoriello. He hadn’t won anything as the Soo Greyhounds GM following a stint as a failed player agent, so let’s call Dubas lucky for now.
Dubas was elevated to assistant GM with Hunter in 2015, taking over the GM position in 2018 after Shanahan set Lou free, picking the boy wonder over the preferred candidate, proven builder Mark Hunter. His only experience? Watching Lou Lamoreillo and Dale Hunter/leading an OHL team to a second-place finish.
Since 2018, The Maple Leafs have lost five series in the first round, making it to the second round only once. His six-year tenure hasn’t produced a satisfactory result. His trade history and team building around the “core four” failed. He failed. It happens.
What usually doesn’t happen when an employee fails? Giving a press conference where you publicly question your loyalty to your employer while emailing them about improved compensation to keep falling.
I don’t know who encouraged Kyle to put his boss over a barrel publicly, but they should be fired too.
Nothing but respect for Kyle Dubas. In a profession where family is often talked about but rarely actually prioritised over the demands of the job*, he is vulnerably and publicly considering putting his career on the back burner for them. I wish him and his family the very best. pic.twitter.com/HX7SLh7FPa
— katie (@itsmitchmarney) May 15, 2023
You can do a lot of things as an employee of MLSE. What you can’t do is embarrass them. Especially when you have ZERO fucking leverage. If the goal is winning the Stanley Cup, Kyle Dubas has failed—bottom line. Any extension for Dubas should have been predicated on failure. Somehow, Kyle Dubas convinced himself his needs were more important than his employer’s reputation – classic employee mistake – and his boss wasn’t fucking having any of it.
Want to piss off your boss? Question your loyalty to them after watching you fail for six years. That’ll do it.
If the entitlement of Kyle’s comments pissed me off, you could only imagine how Leafs’ President Brendan Shanahan felt watching Kyle abate any responsibility while questioning his interest to keep getting paid to fail.
So Shanahan held a presser yesterday where he aired ALL the laundry, including Kyle’s backchannel shit, and I fucking loved it.
Maybe it’s my inner employer, but embarrassing the brand is a non-starter if you fail as an employee. Kyle Dubas went full victim mode instead of taking it on the chin.
Had he said, “This is on me. I failed. I take responsibility for the perennial failure of ‘The Plan.’ We need a new plan, and I’d love to finish what we’ve started, but that’s not my decision,” Toronto wouldn’t be laughing at him and the organization this morning. And Kyle would be getting a regular paycheck in the city he calls home.
Instead, he took perennial losing to new levels and demanded more money while trying to make the fan base let down and feeling sorry for him while having VERY different conversations switch his boss.
We can knock Dubas’s terrible drafting and trade record. You can make fun of his attempt to stop pucks by bargain bin hunting. You can cite his annual failure as a journey he couldn’t complete. What you can’t do is tell me Kyle Dubas had a fucking leg to stand on when he publicly questioned his commitment to getting this right or his loyalty to a team that continued to place confidence in him when he publicly asked his faith in them while failing, FOR HALF A DECADE.
What’s next for Kyle Dubas?
I have zero emotional attachment to any player not named Auston Matthews. Who cares. I only care about the person replacing him and if that person has the jam to make hard decisions in making the Leafs a PLAYOFF team. I want a GM who looks at Matthew Tkachuk like I look at a New York steak—someone who cares about the Cup more than they care about trading Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Maybe someone who takes it on the chin when it’s their fault: A GM who doesn’t question his commitment to bringing a cup to the saddest hockey city in Canada after a 56-year dry spell. Someone who doesn’t act like a pissed-off, reactionary hockey dad who uses company funds to hire his friends from The Arkells for corporate functions.
You know, someone capable of building a winner – not just a regular season winner. Kyle Dubas couldn’t, and he overplayed his hand. He bluffed with a 2/7 offsuit against Brendan Shanahan—no Bueno.
Dean Blundell is a Canadian radio personality. Best known as a longtime morning host on CFNY-FM (The Edge) in Toronto, Ontario. In 2015 he was named the new morning host on sports radio station CJCL (Sportsnet 590 The Fan). Dean started his career in radio in 2001 and for nearly 20 years been entertaining the radio audience. Dean’s newest venture is the launch of his site and podcast which is gaining tremendous momentum across North America.