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It's been less than a week since Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan unceremoniously dumped GM Kyle Dubas in a very frank and somewhat shocking press conference.
Shanahan offered up a surprising level of detail to fans and media in his press conference, essentially running down the timeline of events that led to Dubas' dismissal. On the highest level, Shanhan accused Dubas and his representation of upping their ask during negotiations, to the point where it was made clear to Shanahan that Dubas was not the right fit for the job.
Frankly, as I watched and listened to the press conference I was fairly certain that Dubas came back to the table asking for more money and that Shanahan and the Leafs' ownership balked at the ask. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has also hinted at that possibility, as well. To be perfectly frank, it sounded a lot to me like an old school hockey guys (Shanahan) was not happy to have the terms changed on him so quickly and then got heated as a result. It felt to me like Shanahan made a snap decision based on a gut reaction. Certainly not a smart way to run an organization.
A report yesterday from NHL insider Frank Seravalli though seems to indicate that maybe the money wasn't the sticking point. Rather, Seravalli reports that Dubas was trying to effectively cut off Shanahan from his role as President. The current line of approval goes from the GM, up to the President and then ultimately up to ownership and then back down. Seravalli reports that Dubas "made a push to get Brendan Shanahan out of hockey operations. That he wanted complete and full autonomy."
Not too long afterwards, Dubas released his own statement preferring to take the high road and failing to get into the specifics of his negotiations.
Dubas may end up getting the autonomy that he's seeking though with the Pittsburgh Penguins. There have been rumors swirling around Dubas and the Pens job for awhile now, but things have really heated up the past few days. In fact, Penguins insider Taylor Haase reports that the Leafs' former GM met with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby just yesterday.
The pair reportedly met at the Penguins' practice facility to, presumably, see if their philosophies align.
Personally, I think Dubas would be a fantastic fit for the Penguins. His focus has been on trying to get the Leafs over the hump the past few years and I suspect his focus will be much the same in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.
In Toronto though, it remains to be seen what happens with their now vacant GM position. Shanahan has reportedly been conducting interviews this week and TSN insider Darren Dreger reports that former Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is the front-runner for the position. In fact, Dreger went so far as to say that the job is "Treliving's job to lose" at this point.
“Brad Treliving jumps off the page for me, and the reason is look at the heavy lifting he had to do and grenades he had to juggle as GM of the Flames and some of it wasn’t pretty, but he did admirable work," said Dreger on TSN yesterday.
Dreger's counterpart over at Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, isn't as bullish on Treliving to Toronto but does admit that Treliving would be an attractive candidate for the Leafs.