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Leafs hire boy genius Kyles Dubas as new AGM


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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/leafs-hire-dubas-wise-beyond-his-years/

KyleDubas_new1-640x360.jpg

Kyles Dubas, 28, is the latest addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs front office. Photo: Finn O'Hara

JEFF HICKS

JULY 22, 2014, 11:41 AM

On Tuesday, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced a big front-office shakeup that included the hiring of 28-year-old Kyle Dubas as their new assistant GM.

This profile of Dubas originally appeared in the Nov. 14, 2011 issue of Sportsnet magazine.

KYLE DUBAS pulls up a chair. Its lunchtime in the Alzheimers wing cafeteria at the F.J. Davey Home, and the 25-year-old rookie GM of the Ontario Hockey Leagues Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is sitting with his grandfather Walter Dubas. What time is practice today? says Kyle, trying to engage Walt. Is there a game tonight, Papa?

The 82-year-old doesnt know how to respond. I know you, he says simply.

The biggest hockey game of Kyles professional life, the Greyhounds home opener, is a day away, and it seems that Walt has no idea. He coached the Greyhounds for five seasons a half-century ago. He was a tough coach with gritty teams, winning a championship in 1967. Walt could be hard on his players, but he cared. One season, he had eight players on his team who didnt have fathers in their lives. So they all lived at Walts, with Marietta, his wife of 52 years. Walt always stood up for his boys. Now, he has trouble standing. At lunch, he sits in a wheelchair. But his appetite is still there. As Kyle tries talking baseball with his grandfather, Marietta feeds Walt a cherry tart with whipped cream; he devours it.

Walt made it out to a game in early October and Marietta helped him wave to the crowd after being featured on the video screen. Wally was great, Kyle says. All smiles. But whether he understands that Kyle is running the Hounds or not, only Walt knows. You know hed defend his grandson from those in the media who barked that Kyle was too young for the job. After all, Kyles always done things earlier than most.

At 11, a stick boy. At 17, a Greyhounds scout while studying at Brock University and making the Deans List. At 20, the youngest-ever NHL Players Association-certified agent. Kyle spent four years with Uptown Sports Management, setting up offices in Calgary and Sweden. Then, last April 15, Kyle was named Hounds GM, replacing the fired Dave Torrie. Not former Hounds coach Ted Nolan, who led them to their only Memorial Cup in 1993. Not long-time Peterborough GM Jeff Twohey. Kyle Dubas. Good-looking. Organized. Charming.

Kyle is also wise beyond his years. He had to be tough and smart to survive and thrive in the dagger-filled world of player agents. Walt and Marietta practically raised Kyle after his father, Mark, a cop, and his mother, Paula, an ambulance dispatcher, divorced when he was eight. Walt used to take Kyle to Greyhounds games in the old Soo Gardens and drove home how important it is to have tough players. Marietta despises the floosies who play softly. Her all-time favourites: Bobby Clarke and Bob Probert.

So Kyles new-look Hounds are bigger and tougher by design. His top draft pick, six-foot-four defender Darnell Nurse, is the son of former Hamilton Tiger-Cats wide receiver Richard Nurse. The 16-year-olds uncle by marriage is Minnesota Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb. When pint-sized centre Dan Catenacci, a former first-overall pick, demanded a trade, Kyle sent him to Owen Sound in return for six-foot winger Andrew Fritsch. Six-foot-four blueliner Michael Schwindt and six-foot-five Swedish winger Michael Schumacher were acquired through other off-season trades. No grit, no gloryKyle often repeats this with his grandfather in mind.

When Kyle looks out his Essar Centre office window, he sees the steel plant where Walt spent 40 years as a mechanical maintenance worker. Back then, the plant employed 15,000 people. Now, its about 3,500. But theres a sense of optimism. So much of the local pride in this down-on-its-luck city of 75,000 is tied up in the Hounds. Some pundits say they are on their way up after finishing last in the division two of the past three seasons. Others say they will miss the playoffs for the third time in four years. Either way, the city is crying out for a renaissance on the ice. The Rising is what Kyle calls it. That was the title of the 90-page manifesto he submitted to team ownership during the interview processa blueprint for managing the Hounds with integrity and character. It pounded home his message of ascension from despair as forcefully as the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name. Kyle wasnt even born at the height of Born in the U.S.A. mania, but is an E Street Band disciple. Posters of The Boss hang in his office.

As for the GMs age, head coach Mike Stapleton, a former journeyman forward who scrapped his way to 697 NHL games, has no issues working for a man 20 years his junior. The puck doesnt care how old the player is, says Stapleton, who took over as coach this season. Still, its been 34 years since Gary Green took over the Peterborough Petes at the age of 23. Kyle is under the microscope.

At the Essar Centre offices, a copy of The Art of War balances on the edge of Kyles desk. His dog, Murray, a six-month-old golden retriever, plays with his half-sister, Julia, 11. Kyles 23-year-old twin sisters, Courtney and Megan, work for the team, too. Megan says working for her big brother is different but awesome. We know when to be a brother, we know when to be a sister, when to be a boss and when to be an employee, she says. Its been great.

Nine wins in 13 games had Kyles Hounds battling for the division lead early. If only, wishes Kyle, Walt could enjoy this. Just for an instant.

Interesting move. I guess if you're the Leafs right now you pretty much do anything you can in desperation to save the team and the financial mess it's in. Move is very premature but like I said, it's out of desperation for them really. If it works out, TO will have landed a solid acquisition; if it doesn't, just adds to the mediocracy of that team.

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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/leafs-hire-dubas-wise-beyond-his-years/

Interesting move. I guess if you're the Leafs right now you pretty much do anything you can in desperation to save the team and the financial mess it's in. Move is very premature but like I said, it's out of desperation for them really. If it works out, TO will have landed a solid acquisition; if it doesn't, just adds to the mediocracy of that team.

Nah.

This has Shanahan written all over. That 28 year old man is the future GM of the Maple Leafs and will win them a Cup. He will have been groomed by Shanahan for a few years. Detroit style management from now on.

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This is the guy who's basically said McCann will be a star.

Knowing he's an analytics wonder boy given his use of advanced stats and his team building methodology of having players that are gritty and tough, makes our drafting of McCann look brilliant.

I know this has been covered elsewhere, but here's a recent article about Dubas and his views of McCann. He compares McCann most closely to ROR and Couture.

http://canucksarmy.com/2014/7/7/get-to-know-a-prospect-jared-mccann-not-jared-mccan-t

I have a good feeling about this kid (McCann).

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Isn't that like hiring a 12 year old to manage a superstore?

And who says he is a genius ... the Leafs?

Only in la la land. :)

The guy definitely has the smarts though. See why the leafs would take a shot at him but again, only the leafs would do that :P

Seems like Dubas will succeed though imo just from reading about how he conducts himself and goes about his ways.

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The guy definitely has the smarts though. See why the leafs would take a shot at him but again, only the leafs would do that :P

Seems like Dubas will succeed though imo just from reading about how he conducts himself and goes about his ways.

He seems like he is a smart guy but the requirements for a GM, or AGM, is far more than the sum of being smart, and certainly experience if a huge factor. 40 is young for a GM, 28 is basically not even born yet. And then there is the family affair with his sisters working there. Seems like a terrible signing but like you said. It's the Leafs.

:frantic:

This guy has zero NHL o hockey playing experience. How in the world is he qualified to AGM an NHL team. lol

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Isn't that like hiring a 12 year old to manage a superstore?

And who says he is a genius ... the Leafs?

Only in la la land. :)

The Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, only second to Montreal's 24. The Vancouver Canucks on the other hand, have none.

Maple Leafs fans are a bit ashamed of their embarrassing last few years. But I assure you that they all turn around quick and enjoy their city far more than any Vancouverite could enjoy theirs.

Perhaps that's where the jealousy, envy and spite comes from. I know it can get really dark ont he other side of the mountains. I lived in Vancouver for way too long.

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Tbh, if Dubas can translate his minor league career success over to the NHL, Leafs pretty much hit the jackpot and lost nothing. If he really is the best up and coming hockey mind in the game who's got a knack with finding success with young guys, then good for the Leafs.

Only concern I see is him being 28 years old and telling much older guys (scouts, coaches, players, etc) what to do and such. Might not work out well to begin with but surely it will be growing pains.

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The Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, only second to Montreal's 24. The Vancouver Canucks on the other hand, have none.

Maple Leafs fans are a bit ashamed of their embarrassing last few years. But I assure you that they all turn around quick and enjoy their city far more than any Vancouverite could enjoy theirs.

Perhaps that's where the jealousy, envy and spite comes from. I know it can get really dark ont he other side of the mountains. I lived in Vancouver for way too long.

Any photos from those Stanley cup victories? Preferably not black and white...

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The Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, only second to Montreal's 24. The Vancouver Canucks on the other hand, have none.

Maple Leafs fans are a bit ashamed of their embarrassing last few years. But I assure you that they all turn around quick and enjoy their city far more than any Vancouverite could enjoy theirs.

Perhaps that's where the jealousy, envy and spite comes from. I know it can get really dark ont he other side of the mountains. I lived in Vancouver for way too long.

Those cup wins are from a different era when there were only a handful of teams. In other words they dont count. Jealousy heads west not east there isnt one thing us Vancouverites have to be jealous of Toronto.
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Don't really know much about Dubas except from the few articles I've read but if it means getting the old way the Leafs thought and operated and brining in a fresh idea, it in all honesty cannot be any worse of an idea. Leafs having fired Loiselle and Poulin is a sigh of fresh air from a few Leafs friends I know.

Just take a look yourself:

BtKFv98CMAA-EAE.png

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The Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups, only second to Montreal's 24. The Vancouver Canucks on the other hand, have none.

Maple Leafs fans are a bit ashamed of their embarrassing last few years. But I assure you that they all turn around quick and enjoy their city far more than any Vancouverite could enjoy theirs.

Perhaps that's where the jealousy, envy and spite comes from. I know it can get really dark ont he other side of the mountains. I lived in Vancouver for way too long.

Not sure what winning cups 40+ years ago has to do with anything. I just detest any pro sports team that fosters and doesn't mind losing to the point that players will not waive to go to Stanley Cup contenders when they are clearly not wanted. Something seriously wrong with that team's mentality and the entire culture.

As far as BC goes played in the Kimberley JulyFest soccer tournament this past weekend. Can't buy beer after 11:00 PM in that stupid province. :) Utterly unbelievable from someone born in Saskatchewan. I'm surprised there is electricity out there. Just joking, it was just beautiful out there but I had been away from the tournament for several years. Next year I will remember to bring my own beer. At least they have food there I guess.

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He seems like he is a smart guy but the requirements for a GM, or AGM, is far more than the sum of being smart, and certainly experience if a huge factor. 40 is young for a GM, 28 is basically not even born yet. And then there is the family affair with his sisters working there. Seems like a terrible signing but like you said. It's the Leafs.

:frantic:

This guy has zero NHL o hockey playing experience. How in the world is he qualified to AGM an NHL team. lol

Is that a prerequisite to being hired as a GM? Why do you have to be a player to be a good GM?

Only concern I see is him being 28 years old and telling much older guys (scouts, coaches, players, etc) what to do and such. Might not work out well to begin with but surely it will be growing pains.

I don't see that as being a problem. If your boss were much younger than you would you have problems taking orders for him? Theo Epstein won a World Series as Boston's GM at age 28. I don't know anything about Dubas so I won't comment on whether he will be success or failure. I don't see Nonis lasting very long though, this is a guy that has scoffed at advanced stats and now Shanahan just brought in a guy that is a fan of it.

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