Dave Nonis, a former general manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs, believes Kyle Dubas, the current GM, has done a fine job in the days running up to the March 3 trade deadline.
In fact, Nonis thinks Dubas ought to have a shot to preserve his job even if the Leafs don’t make it past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Nonis joined Ray Ferraro and Darren Dreger on their hockey podcast, Ray & Dregs, on Tuesday, and stated that the outcome of Toronto’s first-round series shouldn’t affect how people view the work Dubas has done.
“I believe it will have some impact, but ultimately, it shouldn’t. In the last few weeks, he’s done a pretty fantastic job of adding some essential parts to that team, if we’re all giving [Dubas] praise for the work he’s done, which I think most people are,” Nonis said.
“You know, how do you change that opinion if we as a group—you say as a group, the media, the fanbase—think that Kyle has done a really fantastic job of providing this team a chance to win and they don’t? How can you tell someone they are doing a great job while also saying, “Well, we lost in seven, therefore he’s got to go?” I just don’t believe that’s the case. a method of examining and judging it.”
Nonis joined the Leafs in 2010 and held the position of general manager from 2013 to 2015, a period of little under two and a half years.
Brendan Shanahan, the team president, informed Dubas in September that no contract extension would be provided at that time. Dubas is in the final year of a five-year term. Because of this, many people thought Dubas’ future depended on the Leafs’ 2022–23 season, in which they hope to win their first series since 2004 and are expected to once again face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.
“I am completely aware that we failed to complete it by the season’s end. In any case, I would much prefer to be judged on the entire period,” Dubas stated in September.
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Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari were both acquired by Dubas this month from the St. Louis Blues in two major moves. Mikhail Abramov, Adam Gaudette, and three picks—including this year’s first-round pick—were exchanged. On Monday, Dubas traded Jake McCabe, Sam Lafferty, and two conditional late-round picks to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Joey Anderson, Pavel Gogolev, a conditional 2025 first-round pick, and a conditional 2026 second-round pick.
Mikhail Abramov, Adam Gaudette, and three picks—including this year’s first-round pick—were exchanged. On Monday, Dubas traded Jake McCabe, Sam Lafferty, and two conditional late-round picks to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Joey Anderson, Pavel Gogolev, a conditional 2025 first-round pick, and a conditional 2026 second-round pick.
Both teams are behind the league-leading Boston Bruins, who have the most points with 82 through 60 games for the Leafs and 78 through 59 for the Lightning. Nonis emphasised that the Leafs would still face tough competition despite all that Dubas has done to put his team in a winning position.
“You might argue that on paper, they have a better team. They lack the goaltender and the experience that Tampa has, among other things. Hence, those two factors might make all the difference in whether Toronto wins or loses that series, according to Nonis.
“I don’t think the general manager in this scenario is at fault for adding enough components or loading the cannon with enough bullets if they have the He done that, therefore he now has an opportunity to compete.”
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