Kukla's Korner

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How Are Things In Toronto These Days?

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

The sophomore GM is sticking to his guns, despite his group’s seven-game ouster by the Boston Bruins, who are now entrenched in a punchy, big-boy series with a Columbus Blue Jackets squad that also eliminated the team with more talent, on paper. The very team Dubas is using as his model for these Leafs.

“My conviction about speed and skill has not been shaken at all,” Dubas said from the podium during last week’s dissection of a disappointment. “I do think, like any team, as our guys get older, they’re going to naturally get heavier and grittier. As they accrue these scars and scar tissues from experiences like this, mentally they’ll deal with it.

“I wish there was a switch we could flip naturally to get there, but it comes only with experience.”......

So, if we can agree that Dubas won’t shy away from a shakeup based on FOPO, what could another Tavares-level splash for Dubas look like in the summer of 2019?

Well, here’s some wild brainstorming, because it’s too early for substantial trade rumours (check back near the draft) and Dubas himself has proclaimed no one safe.

• Firing Mike Babcock. Removing the Leafs’ confident, decorated alpha-dog four years before the most expensive coaching contract in NHL history expires? Well, that would certainly take guts. That Dubas didn’t offer an endorsement of his coaching staff when given the opportunity last week raises eyebrows.

• Trading William Nylander. Think of DeMar DeRozan being blindsided by the Kawhi Leonard deal, then try not to remember Nylander saying Dubas assured him he wouldn’t be moved as long as he was steering the ship. The team believes in the player. Nylander is much better than his 2018-19 suggests, which is precisely why he could yield a bounty if traded.

• Disposing of the Patrick Marleau contract. 


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com