What kind of GM do Maple Leafs need?

The Maple Leafs, via president Brendan Shanahan, have decided Kyle Dubas was not the man to lead the club next season so what kind of general manager does Toronto need to make its unbalanced but talented roster successful?

Video Transcript

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Let's pivot to actual GM candidates who might be worthwhile for the Leafs. And we've already thrown out guys like Boban, Treliving, and all that. But like like, Omar, who would you like to see the Leafs have as GM?

OMAR: I mean, I think yes, every GM needs to have their own identity and they need to have their own, I guess, thought process, definitely. But like I guess my concern is that we do a 180, where we ignore all the positives that took place in the Dubas era just to, I don't know, go back to the good old hockey times or whatever. So like, you know, Shanahan's comment, whether it's in context or out of context, concerns me, where he's like, you know, he wants to look for a GM that's experienced and a GM that has bite.

I don't know what that means. I don't know if it's like a sense of bite when it comes to like negotiations, because that was one area that really hit Dubas, the negotiating.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, GM's with bite sounds like hockey after dark for me. That sounds kind of weird.

OMAR: Right, so I don't know what that means. Now, if it means just like, you know, like having a GM that can really stand strong when it comes to contract negotiations, that's fine. The Nylander situation, that was a fumble by Kyle. He ended up giving Nylander what he wanted initially, fumble.

The Marner situation, fumble. You know what I mean? So it's like if we're trying to like reconstruct the cap situation, and Julian, as you mentioned earlier, one of the main things that's plaguing this team is that you have 50% of the cap revolves around four people, and the question for the longest time has been can they win despite of that? And the answer is clearly no.

So you need to have someone who can work within that, who can make those trades and not get fleeced and not get murdered on these trades. Brad Treliving concerns me, because he got murdered on a trade. So--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: He got murdered on one trade. It's really, it's a bad murder, but also--

OMAR: But that's, but that's a bad murder.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: But here's the thing. But here's the thing. Like--

SAM CHANG: You should hire the guy whose trade led directly to your team's elimination.


OMAR: Exactly.

SAM CHANG: But no, you don't want it.


OMAR: Oh, but bring me the other person, right? So like I don't believe, like I don't even, I don't even know like who are actual contenders, who are out there. Eric Tulsky's been a person that a lot of people have talked about, you know, as another young up-and-coming mind. But I don't know if that's a personnel that works.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Eric Tulsky's name's getting thrown around like crazy. If you have a job vacancy, it's like please, Eric Tulsky. This dude is, you had the great website, is doing really well in Carolina right now. As soon as the vacancy is open, hey, man, we want that Eric Tulsky.

OMAR: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: Put him in there. So if you could just give us, please, please, Eric Tulsky. And that's no disrespect to him. He's obviously in the position that, he's in demand for a reason. It's just whenever people want to just like fun, not fun, but like, hey, I want someone new. I want someone cool, Eric Tulsky's just that guy.

OMAR: Yeah.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: So whatever reason.

OMAR: So like I can't really-- and this may not be like the best answer. But like I can't think of a name, but I know the type of GM that I don't want. I don't want a GM that's going to walk into the organization and make a change just to say, hey, this is my team, and I'm going to move you out just to prove it, because that's how the Leafs used to be. The people who would come in, you know, try to flex their muscles and say, this is my team, and I'm going to let everyone know.

I'm going to move this person. I'm going to move that person. We don't need that. What we need is someone to come in, evaluate what has taken place and see what we can add to it. From the conversations, it seems now that the core four is coming back, OK, fine. So what can you--

JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know how I feel about that.

OMAR: I don't know how I feel about that either. But whatever. So if the core four is coming back, then what can you do that Kyle Dubas couldn't, because Dubas has been trying to do that. He kept trying to keep the core four together, and then add around them. And that hasn't worked. Year after year after year it has not worked.

So what can you do that Kyle couldn't? Is it that you're graduating prospects? Is that you're maybe making more or more sly or eventful deals around the edges? Who knows? Are you counting on player growth? Then if that's the case, then what are you actually doing?

So I just don't want a GM to come in and make a trade or make a move just to make a move. If you're going to make a move, you're going to move one of the core four, which I think we're at a point now kind of needs to happen, who are you going to move? Who are you going to trade?

It shouldn't be Nylander. I don't know why it would be Nylander. Everyone's saying it's going to be Nylander. Why? He's the only one who shows up in the playoffs consistently. He's on a great deal. Do not move him.

But if that ends up being the move, OK, well, then how are you making the team better? So I can't think of the name. I just know what kind of type of GM I don't want. And I don't want the GM to walk through, walks around and try to take ownership of the team quickly, and then make a trade just for the sake of making a trade.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: So Brandon Pridham, that's a name that's been thrown out there, one of Leafs AGMs.

OMAR: Yeah, I think Pridham makes a lot of sense, for sure.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: What about Doug Armstrong in St. Louis?

OMAR: I don't even know where that came from. Like he's won. So, yeah, I'm sure that'd be cool.

JULIAN MCKENZIE: He's won, yes.

OMAR: But like I-- man, man, like I guess on paper Armstrong would make sense as well, because I think he's one of those like sneaky GMs that makes you think that they're-- OK, not really sneaky, just very aware. Doug Armstrong does the Rangers thing consistently, whereas it's like, hey, even if we're in the playoffs. We're not good, if there's no point of us making it. OK, trading this person for this person, we'll retool and we'll try again.

So that thinking, I think, is an attractive piece for the Leafs definitely. Again, I don't know where this name is even coming from, because he has like what, three or four years left on his deal? So whatever. But like if it is Armstrong, I like it a lot more than like Brad Treliving or Marc Bergevin or Peter Chiarelli.