Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/27/14 at 01:30 AM ET
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons spends a significant portion of his Sunday notebook fighting the anti-advanced stats fight (again). In doing so, however, he does make one astute point about new Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas, and it's a point that the "Boy Genius, Master of Advanced Stats" narrative has ignored.
Dubas made some very "gusty" calls in terms of both coaching and player personnel while turning the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from a bottom-feeder into a perennial contender, including making a very risky coaching pick:
Against almost everyone’s advice, Dubas hired Sheldon Keefe to coach in Sault Ste. Marie when Keefe was persona non grata in the OHL because of his personal behaviour and his longtime involvement with the pariah David Frost. People knew Keefe could coach. But no one would touch him. Dubas found a way to finesse that and now he’s on the rise and so is Keefe. And lingering there are many people in the OHL who have no use for either of them.
Simmons also believes that Leafs president Brendan Shanahan's decision to fire Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle might have a positive effect upon the NHL's Department of Player Safety:
Some are saying Loiselle is a candidate to replace Shanahan at the NHL head office in New York. “He’d be a great choice,” said an NHL front office voice. “And he’s got the legal background for it, too.” The job of top cop has yet to be filled.
(And Stephane Quintal stank at the job)
Simmons continues, discussing the Leafs' goaltending situation and ranking both conferences' best goaltenders, as well as his usual mix of other-sport talk.
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