TORONTO, ON — The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for a new general manager after the team announced Friday that it had decided to part ways with Kyle Dubas.
Toronto won a playoff series this year for the first time in nearly two decades. The Maple Leafs eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning before losing to the underdog Florida Panthers in a disappointing second-round showing.
Dubas' contract was scheduled to expire June 30.
“I would like to thank Kyle for his unwavering dedication over these last nine seasons with the organization, including his last five as general manager,” Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said in a statement. “Kyle fostered a great culture within our dressing room and staff, and consistently pushed to make our team better season over season.”
Shanahan was scheduled to address the media Friday afternoon at Scotiabank Arena.
An emotional Dubas, 37, said Monday he wasn’t sure if he would continue on as GM, citing the stress on his young family.
Dubas joined the Leafs in 2014 as an assistant GM at age 28. He managed the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies to a Calder Cup title in 2018.
He took over as Toronto general manager from Lou Lamoriello in May 2018 as part of a succession plan under Shanahan’s direction.
The Leafs experienced unprecedented regular-season success under Dubas — viewed as a young, bright hockey mind with a forward-thinking approach to analytics — over his five years in charge.
Toronto set single-season records for wins and points, and went 221-109-42 in his tenure. Dubas also didn’t shy away from big moves — he fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Mike Babcock in November 2019 and replaced him with Sheldon Keefe — but struggled to find the right mix in the playoffs until this spring.
The Leafs lost to Boston in seven games in 2019 and fell to Columbus in the 2020 pandemic-necessitated qualifying round. The team blew a 3-1 lead against Montreal in a disastrous 2021 collapse before showing promise in a tight, seven-game loss to Tampa in 2022 that set the stage for last month’s breakthrough.
Dubas offered unwavering support to Toronto’s so-called “Core Four” of offensive talent consisting of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander.
“As a person, he’s been unbelievable throughout my whole time here,” Marner said of Dubas after the Leafs were eliminated by Florida. “Definitely a special person to have around. He cares a lot for his players and his staff.
“Something that we’re all pretty lucky to have.”