Report: Kyle Dubas owes it all to Mike Babcock?

Should Dubas send Babcock a muffin basket?



It was over the summer that the Toronto Maple Leafs parted ways with Kyle Dubas in what was a rather startling move not long after their season came to an end at the hands of the eventual Eastern Conference champion Florida Panthers. He's since been replaced by Brad Treliving, who had previously served as GM of the Calgary Flames.

In the meantime, it wouldn't be long Dubas resurfaced in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, taking over the role of president of hockey operations. He would also elect to make himself the general manager of the Penguins for the time being. 

As you remember, Dubas made the decision to part ways with Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock in November of 2019, paving the way for current head coach Sheldon Keefe to take over. But according to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, Dubas has Babcock to thank for his having been promoted to the position of Leafs general manager in the first place. 

At the time, the Colorado Avalanche reportedly had eyes for Dubas as a replacement for Joe Sakic when the team was struggling and had missed the playoffs in six of their last seven campaigns. Friedman stated that Babcock requested Maple Leafs management to promote Kyle Dubas, who was then the assistant GM, to the full-time role of GM after the departure of Lou Lamoriello.

"When the Leafs blocked Dubas from going to Colorado, it was Mike Babcock that said we have to make him general manager now, if we're not going to let him to go Colorado." - Friedman on Babcock being the reason that the Leafs promoted Dubas.

In recent years, Babcock has seen his reputation plummet after several damning reports from a handful of his former players of his behavior; he was also fired before ever being able to coach a game with the Columbus Blue Jackets after revelations surfaced of his intrusive demands to look through players' phones. 

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