Toronto - July 23, 2014 - On Tuesday morning the Toronto Maple Leafs dismissed Dave Poulin, Vice President of Hockey Operations, and Claude Loiselle, assistant general manager, of their duties. They also hired Kyle Dubas as their new assistant general manager.
In what is arguably the biggest shake up of the Leaf’s off season, the team has made a clear choice to move away from the old school approach and to get with the times. Dubas is 28 years old and is heralded as an analytics expert, an area in which the now former Leaf executives were lacking.
This appears to be Brendan Shanahan's first big move. Loiselle’s main purpose with the team was to look keep an eye on the salary cap and contract negotiations, which after this year’s atrocious cap situation and the poor use of compliance buyouts, it should surprise no one to see him on the unemployment line. As for Poulin, being the VP of Hockey Operations, you tend to have your hand in a little bit of everything. It appears that this is the sign of a serious change in Toronto’s approach to management and one that as a fan, I am relieved to see happen.
As for as Kyle Dubas goes, you will be hard pressed to find a negative thing said about him but now that he is being employed by the Leafs, that is sure to change. Dubas has most recently been with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds serving as their General Manager. He was a scout at the age of 17, an agent at 20, and the youngest NHLPA certified scout at 22. At 25 years of age he became the GM of the Greyhounds, and now has added being assistant GM of the Maple Leafs to his resume.
Dubas is a progressive hire, a great mix of the old school eye for talent and new age understanding of the numbers. What is maybe most surprising is that a team like Toronto, who are noted for their old school approach and hesitance to take risks like this, actually hired him. Either way Maple Leaf fans should be excited for the drastic and clear change in approach as the old one was clearly not working.
Twitter - @RobMcPhee