Amid plenty of speculation surrounding Kyle Dubas’ surprising departure from the Toronto Maple Leafs late last week, the former general manager spoke for the first time on Tuesday via a statement on Twitter.
Dubas, who initially joined the organization as an assistant GM in 2014 before taking over for Lou Lamoriello as Maple Leafs GM in 2018, chose not to reveal any specifics about the details of his departure. Instead, he thanked the franchise for its support and dedication throughout his nine-year tenure.
While I understand there is interest surrounding the circumstances of my departure, I will not get into specifics of what I consider to be reasonable and consistent but private discussions.
In the days that I felt I needed to assess and evaluate my own view to the future, both with respect to the necessary direction of the Club and ensuring that I had the full support of my family for what I knew would be required in the off-season and years to follow, the organization, as is their right to do, decided to go in a different direction.
In the nine seasons since being afforded the opportunity to work in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, we have had the chance to learn a lot and have grown significantly through the ups and downs. We have watched our family double in size while developing meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime.
It was an honour to be able to work in such an aspiring place, with dedicated, loyal people and an extremely passionate fan base. The impact of that and the relationships with all of the people at MLSE, from the board of directors through to the ushers at Scotiabank Arena, will forever hold a dear place in our hearts.
To the players, coaches and staff at the facility each day, past and present, thank you for your passion and commitment at every step of the journey together. It was a tremendous pleasure to work alongside you each day. We will roll from here.
Before signing on with the Maple Leafs, Dubas rose through the executive ranks with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, serving as their GM for three seasons. He also cut his teeth in the AHL, overseeing the Toronto Marlies’ 2018 Calder Cup championship.
The 37-year-old said in last week’s end-of-season presser that he "definitely" didn’t have it in him "to go anywhere else" besides Toronto. "You won’t see me next week pop up elsewhere. I can’t put (my family) through that after this year," Dubas added.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, however, the Pittsburgh Penguins have received permission from the Maple Leafs to speak with Dubas. The team dismissed director of hockey operations Brian Burke and GM Ron Hextall last month after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Toronto made the postseason every year under Dubas but won just a single playoff round — this season against the Tampa Bay Lightning — under his watch and hasn’t advanced past the second round since 2002.