With the Toronto Maple Leafs sitting at a crossroads, and their new general Manager Lou Lamoriello turning 73 less than a month into the regular season, it’s pretty obvious that he is not the long-term solution. With Lamoriello reaching the end of his management career, one has to wonder what Brendan Shanahan’s purpose was with bringing him in; The logical solution is that he’ll be leaned on as a mentor.
If you’re looking to bring in a GM with experience, there are fewer options with a longer resume of experience than Lamoriello. With (at one point) 13 consecutive playoff births, three Stanley Cup Championships, 9 Atlantic Divison Championships, five Eastern Conference Championships and a 2009 induction into the Hall of Fame, Lamoriello is a living legend.
Shanahan is looking to bring a winning pedigree to the Leafs organization and if there’s one thing Lamoriello is good at, it’s winning.
Lost in all the craziness of the Leafs management is the 28-year-old Kyle Dubas. Make no mistake, the Leafs didn’t bring in the highly touted analytics man to have a backseat role with the team. Shanahan is expecting him to one day take the reigns as the Leafs GM. But he’s got a lot to learn before he’s ready.
“Kyle is a young fellow who has tremendous abilities. I know his background and if he doesn’t become a general manager here — and I’m not going to be here for lifetime — it’s going to be his fault.” – Lou Lamoriello
Essentially the Leafs have put Dubas in the perfect position to succeed moving forward. He’s already gained experience as the assistant GM, alongside Mark Hunter, in trading players and firing coaches. Now, he has one of the best GM’s in NHL history alongside to mentor him.
While Dubas is an upcoming bright mind in the hockey world, his “money puck” philosophy will need some fine tuning when it comes to real application. So far this offseason he has acquired guys like Mark Arcobello and Matt Hunwick and brought back Daniel Winnik. Solid moves in their own respect which speak to his analytics mind, but not significant moves that make a team deeply better.
Shanahan himself has had great times learning and growing with Lamoriello and is hoping that the legendary GM will have the same effect on the young Dubas. Dubas joined the hockey world at age 14 and became a GM in the OHL at the tender age of 25. He’s fought hard to change the way hockey management and talent is viewed, but some old-school mentoring will serve him well as he gets ready for a role in the NHL.
Mentoring will be a new role for Lamoriello as he leaves 26 years of experience with the New Jersey Devils behind. His role of GM with the Leafs will be a different type of GM role as the job will be done by committee and his job is to give guidance and mentorship to the young Dubas.
He’s going to teach Dubas to let prospects develop, keep news close to the chest and to run a tight ship. Realistically, he’s only in town for three years max and by the time he’s done, Dubas will be ready to step up to the plate and run the Maple Leafs.
Shanahan and the Leafs are excited for Dubas’ future in the NHL and now he’ll have an opportunity to learn from a brilliant hockey mind from the past.