The search might be on for a new general manager in a few teams in the National Hockey League, and as of yesterday, it almost seemed certain that the Toronto Maple Leafs had found their guy to take over for Lou Lamoriello's job in the front office. According to many experts and NHL insiders, the coveted position in Toronto is expected to go to Kyle Dubas, the current assistant general manager for the Leafs.
For years, it seems that Dubas has been groomed for the role, since joining the Leafs in 2014 and has learned the ropes from Lamoriello when he joined Toronto in 2015. Dubas previously worked as GM of the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
However, the Leafs are not the only team looking for a general manager in the NHL, and top candidates are noticed elsewhere. The Carolina Hurricanes may have pried Rick Dudley out of Montreal to join the management team with new owner Tom Dundon, but they still need a GM in place. There is also the Minnesota Wild, who needs to replace Chuck Fletcher as general manager - and they seem to have their eye on Dubas as well.
While many believe that Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton is considered the frontrunner as he has already been interviewed for the position, Wild insider Michael Russo writes in his latest mailbag on The Athletic, that Dubas is expected to get a "strong look" for the position in Minnesota.
This could be heavy competition for the Leafs, whose president Brendan Shanahan moved Lamoriello from GM to a senior adviser role on Monday, but did not name a replacement yet.
Dubas may be the frontrunner for the Maple Leafs at the moment, but let's not forget their other assistant general manager, Mark Hunter, who has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for Lamoriello.
The Wild has quite the challenge ahead, adds Russo, and Dubas could be lured into Minnesota to save the day.
"I do think experience with this particular job is necessary because coming to the Wild will be a challenge. I’ve said this a few times now, but in a lot of ways, Fletcher would have been in the best position to make trades this offseason because he knows which teams have previously had interest in the Coyles and Niederreiters of the world. A new GM may also first want to take a look at these players with his own eyes before pulling the trigger toward trading them, so conceivably, hiring a new GM could delay the tweaking process a bit."
Let's see if the Leafs manage to settle everything before the Wild makes Dubas an offer he cannot refuse.