Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 Candidates to Replace Kyle Dubas
With the Toronto Maple Leafs season now in the books for ten days, the team has dominated the headlines across the NHL as they begin the offseason. Choosing to part ways with their longtime general manager, team president Brendan Shanahan announced in a press conference Friday that Kyle Dubas would not be returning for the 2023-2024 season. Gone after five seasons with the franchise, the former Soo Greyhounds executive spent five years in the city while signing multiple key pieces, including the core four of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and captain John Tavares. However, after staking his claim to his players, the 37-year-old could only advance out of the first round of the playoffs once after the franchise fell in five games to the Florida Panthers in the second round this postseason.
5. Eric Tulsky
In his second season as assistant general manager with the Carolina Hurricanes, Tulsky has spent eight years with the organization while helping the team qualify for the postseason in each of the last five. The Harvard alum is directly involved in all hockey operations and player personnel decisions, analytics, and scouting while assisting with player contract negotiations and salary cap compliance. Beginning as a consultant, he has also served as the vice president of hockey management and strategy. Tulsky was also influential in bringing in Jordan Martinook from the Arizona Coyotes while also singing Jesper Fast in free agency. Reportedly out of the running for the Pittsburgh Penguins general manager job, Eric Tulsky appears to be a solid candidate.
4. Marc Bergevin
The longtime general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Bergevin spent nine seasons with the team before being dismissed. He helped lead them to the postseason six times, including two trips to the conference finals and Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 2021. No stranger to making major personnel decisions, the 57-year-old sent franchise favourite and former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman PK Subban to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Shea Weber. The Quebec native also sent a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for smooth-skating blue liner Jeff Petry. Right now, working as a senior advisor to Rob Blake with the Los Angeles Kings, Bergevin has the experience to navigate and manage a major hockey market in Toronto.
3. Mathieu Darche
An instrumental piece in the Tampa Bay Lightning's development system and run of sustained success, Darche began working with the team in 2019 as their Director of Hockey Operations. Promoted this season to assistant general manager, the longtime player works hand in hand with general manager Julian BriseBois on all player personnel and contract decisions, along with being in charge of navigating the salary cap. He has allowed the team to bring in veteran players over the past few seasons, like Nick Paul, Tanner Jeannot, David Savard, and Kevin Shattenkirk. Furthermore, the franchise has also been able to lock up its young core by inking Brayden Point, Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli, and Erik Cernak to long-term contract extensions.
2. Mark Hunter
One of Shanahan's first hires after becoming president of the Maple Leafs in 2014, Hunter was announced as the director of player personnel for the team. Following this, after the group decided to part ways with Dave Nonis in 2015, the Ontario native worked as an assistant general manager of the franchise alongside Dubas under Lou Lamoriello. However, after Lamoriello left the Maple Leafs in 2018, Hunter decided to terminate his contract after Dubas was named general manager. Now working with the London Knights alongside his brother Dale, Hunter has led the organization to a run of enduring success. The 60-year-old offers significant knowledge of junior hockey. He was a crucial component in running the draft that led to the Maple Leaf's decision to select superstar winger Mitch Marner fourth overall in 2015.
1. Brad Treliving
Formerly the general manager of the Calgary Flames, Treliving spent nine seasons with the team after being hired in 2014. He agreed to mutually part ways after a disappointing end to the 2022-2023 season that saw the team miss the playoffs for the second time in the past five years. Nonetheless, the 53-year-old still had a strong tenure with the group by leading them to multiple 50-win campaigns and the conference semi-finals twice. The British Columbia native has experience making multiple franchise-altering trades to shake up his core group. He dealt star winger Matthew Thachuk to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau, Mackenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a lottery-protected first-round selection in the 2025 NHL draft. Reportedly in Toronto this week, the Maple Leafs have begun to engage with him about the opening.