Leafs' Shanahan admits he changed his mind on Dubas in the last week
The Toronto Maple Leafs planned to give a contract extension to Kyle Dubas in order to keep him as the team’s GM moving forward.
Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan met with media on Friday afternoon to discuss the team’s decision to part ways with Dubas, who had served as the team’s GM for five years.
Shanahan was very open about how the process played itself out and even said that he first approached Dubas in March about the possibility of a contract extension. He and the Leafs’ organization remained keen on bringing Dubas back, but the 37-year-old’s season-ending press conference on Monday made them second-guess things.
“While watching Kyle’s press, I think at that point there was a dramatical shift in my thinking as I drove home that night, that, as Kyle expressed, he might not want to be our GM,” Shanahan said. “I have to take that very seriously.”
Interestingly enough, Shanahan also let it be known he had expressed to Dubas he didn’t think it would be in his best interest to speak to the media as quickly as he did.
“We talked a little bit about doing media. I had expressed to him that it was not my intention to talk to the media until I had something settled with him,” Shanahan said. “I expressed that I thought it was maybe a good idea if he didn’t either, but Kyle said he really wanted to talk to the media and I respected that.”
Despite Dubas sounding unsure on whether or not he wanted to be back as the Leafs GM when speaking with media, Shanahan said that he had expressed a willingness to return yesterday, but with a new deal than what had previously been discussed.
“Kyle had said that his agent was going to call me and that he would reach out to me as well,” Shanahan explained. “I got a call in the afternoon from his agent, and basically a new financial package was presented to me by the agent. The conversation was brief. I did not hear from Kyle throughout the day. I went home and just before dinner I got an email from Kyle saying that he did want to be the GM of the Maple Leafs.”
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Shanahan went on to explain that by the time he had gotten that email, he had already begun exploring the possibility of a new GM for the Leafs, and believed it was best at that point to move on. As for future candidates, he made it clear that they were not ruling anybody out at this point, and was adamant that they would be sure to find the proper replacement.
Shortly after Shanahan’s press conference, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said that Dubas declined to comment right now, but added that there will be a time and place to do so. The future remains unknown as of now for Dubas, but he did mention recently that if he was no longer the Leafs’ GM, he would be taking some time away.