Never once has Kyle Dubas said anything more than the cookie-cutter support message about Mike Babcock, that is until now. With his guy finally behind the bench Kyle Dubas is all in on Sheldon Keefe leading the Leafs to sustained success.
Mike Babcock was the final piece of the Lou Lamoriello era gone. Patrick Marleau went at a steep price, Lamoriello and Hunter both shipped out, Matt Martin and Leo Komarov gone, and now the head coach Mike Babcock axed – all by Kyle Dubas.
The glasses-wearing, new-age thinking, NHL-unproven GM has been ruthless in shaping the Leafs team into his own vision. The latest and final move, relieving Babcock of his coaching duties, forced MLSE to open their wallet and cut ties with the faltering coach and proves the GM is all in on “HIS” team with the highest stakes.
While talking on TSN radio Thursday, Dubas shared his thoughts on Sheldon Keefe’s hiring stating the team didn’t look at any other options to replace Babcock. Makes sense too with Keefe following his GM from the OHL to the AHL and finally to the NHL. That being said, Dubas went one step further in pushing his chips in the middle, staking his own job on the faith he has in his coach to get the job done, specifically playing hockey the way they want to play – without physicality and “brute toughness.”
These actual words left Dubas’ mouth, “I am willing to bet, I guess, my job and my career on it” when talking about the Leafs having success playing fast, skilled hockey and being a dominant team playing this way. Bryan Hayes gave the GM the floor and Dubas took full advantage of the opportunity, giving a detailed and passionate message to the fanbase about a changed mentality with the team.
All I can say is lets fucking go, boys! No cookie-cutter any more, no lob-ball pitches and predictable answers for Dubas. This is now his team with his players run by him and his coach. All the success will come back to him but so to will the questions about the system and the doubt along the way. I love that the GM is betting on himself. And, the freedom in which Keefe coaches could make Dubas a big winner in the big picture.