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Thread: Leafs Favoring Hunter Over Dubas for Open GM Spot?

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    Leafs Favoring Hunter Over Dubas for Open GM Spot?

    Kyle Dubas has looked like the front-runner to become the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, but according to Sportsnet insider Nick Kypreos, the team might be leaning in a different direction.

    “A lot of executives I’ve spoken with believe that when it comes to the next general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it goes in the favour of Mark Hunter, for no other reason than his resume,” Kypreos said during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.
    “A lot of executives still believe that Kyle Dubas pales in comparison to the years of experience and multiple Memorials Cups [of Hunter],” Kypreos said. “The issue for [team president] Brendan Shanahan going forward is that if he decides to go with Kyle Dubas, he runs the risk of losing Mark Hunter, who would have a tough time answering to Dubas.”

    Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman said Saturday it is believed Hunter and Shanahan met Friday to dicsuss the situation.
    https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/...-open-gm-role/


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  2. #2
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    Not surprising at all, to me.
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    I was of this opinion all along, too. Mark Hunter is really good at this shit. He knows the game inside out, understands the business side, and is plugged in to every corner of the game.

    Dubas is good with Excel.

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    Lessons to be learned from the Coyotes...

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    Whatever they wanted from Dubas, they now have. Whatever metrics he created are now likely their proprietary knowledge.

    To put a kid in charge of the biggest operation in the industry, who ran a backwater junior franchise for a couple years is really kind of crazy from an operational standpoint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    I was of this opinion all along, too. Mark Hunter is really good at this shit. He knows the game inside out, understands the business side, and is plugged in to every corner of the game.

    Dubas is good with Excel.
    I’m not taking credit for it being my opinion. Lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    Whatever they wanted from Dubas, they now have. Whatever metrics he created are now likely their proprietary knowledge.

    To put a kid in charge of the biggest operation in the industry, who ran a backwater junior franchise for a couple years is really kind of crazy from an operational standpoint.
    I wonder though... the GM position has been undercut these days by the "President of Hockey Ops" position. Do they really even have any power anymore?

    That said, you're really never going to find the guy who knows the stats inside out, the cap inside out, the nuance of the game inside out. So it's really a matter of what you want this GM to do. Because Shanny is making all the decisions anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I wonder though... the GM position has been undercut these days by the "President of Hockey Ops" position. Do they really even have any power anymore?

    That said, you're really never going to find the guy who knows the stats inside out, the cap inside out, the nuance of the game inside out. So it's really a matter of what you want this GM to do. Because Shanny is making all the decisions anyway.
    Agree with everything. And your last sentence is why it’s no surprise that Hunter is rumored to get the job.
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    Shanahan played in London. It wasn't a Hunter property at that time but the Hunter's were/are the dominant hockey family in that area. I'm positive that's where that relationship began.

    Then he broke in with Pat Verbeek. Verbeek's and Hunter's all grew up together in that same small town (Petrolia) circle. The roots are deeeeeep.

    Mikey could probably confirm my suspicions..

    The Hunters are just the Ontario version of the Sutters. I played against the Hunter/Verbeek clan and was thoroughly bested and embarassed (kept my silver medal on my neck, though), and if I mention either family to my dad he visibly cringes from his memories of my family losing to theirs since the 50's. It's an incestuous world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunny View Post
    Shanahan played in London. It wasn't a Hunter property at that time but the Hunter's were/are the dominant hockey family in that area. I'm positive that's where that relationship began.

    Then he broke in with Pat Verbeek. Verbeek's and Hunter's all grew up together in that same small town (Petrolia) circle. The roots are deeeeeep.

    Mikey could probably confirm my suspicions..

    The Hunters are just the Ontario version of the Sutters. I played against the Hunter/Verbeek clan and was thoroughly bested and embarassed (kept my silver medal on my neck, though), and if I mention either family to my dad he visibly cringes from his memories of my family losing to theirs since the 50's. It's an incestuous world.
    You know more about the roots than I do. What you said has validity, no doubt. I just have my opinions on how certain people feel about stat guys and where they fit in.
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    Never understood Shanny hiring Lou, after he surrounded himself with Hunter and Dubas. Lou made them too top heavy. Given Rogers is already a bureaucracy, this should streamline things.

    Dubas is terrific and will get a GM job in the NHL at some point. He's 32 and already GM'ed St Marie and the Marlies. Is Asst GM with Hunter now. Made good trades, found and groomed Keefe. Believes in more than just statistical analysis.

    Hunter is the man responsible for the Leaf drafts and Marner among others. His family has really impacted the Knights and have as much love for them as for farming and the NHL. Great stuff from Dunny, they were all tough guys too. Verbeek was a bitch to play against, talented and not nearly as eccentric and digustingly dirty as Dale.

    Mark kinda has to get the job and they'll make Dubas his right hand man. They'll get him an additional title, I guess.
    Last edited by Giacomin; 05-07-2018 at 10:07 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    Never understood Shanny hiring Lou, after he surrounded himself with Hunter and Dubas. Lou made them too top heavy. Given Rogers is already a bureaucracy, this should streamline things.

    Dubas is terrific and will get a GM job in the NHL at some point. He's 32 and already GM'ed St Marie and the Marlies. Is Asst GM with Hunter now. Made good trades, found and groomed Keefe. Believes in more than just statistical analysis.

    Hunter is the man responsible for the Leaf drafts and Marner among others. His family has really impacted the Knights and have as much love for them as for farming and the NHL. Great stuff from Dunny, they were all tough guys too. Verbeek was a bitch to play against, talented and not nearly as eccentric and digustingly dirty as Dale.

    Mark kinda has to get the job and they'll make Dubas his right hand man. They'll get him an additional title, I guess.
    Lou drafted Shanny, they’re tight. Same with Babcock. After the Devils unraveled, it was a no brainer for him. Lou helps put the right guys together for a few years, then takes a different role. That was their agreement. And Dubas groomed Keefe? Please stop. Keefe played in the NHL, Dubas can’t ice skate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Lou drafted Shanny, they’re tight. Same with Babcock. After the Devils unraveled, it was a no brainer for him. Lou helps put the right guys together for a few years, then takes a different role. That was their agreement. And Dubas groomed Keefe? Please stop. Keefe played in the NHL, Dubas can’t ice skate.
    As a coach. Jeez

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    Here is part of an old article I posted twice here, regarding Keefe. It is an excellent piece, see bolded part to support my point. Here you go:

    The rehabilitation of Sheldon Keefe is nearly complete.

    If life is really about second chances, the 34-year-old Keefe asked for one, and has surely received it. If he wasn’t exactly a hockey pariah, he certainly associated with and supported scheming, hard-hearted men who were involved in some of the ugliest hockey-related incidents in recent times.

    Today, while not exactly on top of the world, he has divested himself of those relationships and has a promising future in the game again. He’s emerged as one of the brightest coaching prospects in the sport, the leader of the flashy Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, the highest scoring junior outfit in the land and the country’s No. 1 ranked squad.

    How bright? Well, given that Kyle Dubas, assistant GM of the Maple Leafs, was the one who gave him new life in the game and remains an unabashed booster, it’s reasonable to anticipate that Keefe’s name will be coming up in connection with Toronto’s struggling NHL franchise in the coming months when names are raised for coaching positions in the organization.

    Heavily influenced by Dubas, formerly the Soo’s general manager, and his belief in the wave of analytical thinking sweeping over the sport, Keefe has produced a thinking man’s hockey team that relies on skill and speed less than muscle and aggression.

    Given that he wasn’t that kind of player himself, the transformation is fascinating.

    “I was able to put up good offensive numbers, but I was very much a straight-ahead player who relied on outworking opposition, not a guy who saw the ice particularly well,” Keefe says. “I relied on hard work, was probably over-reliant on physicality and being a pest.
    “I’ve changed my outlook on the game quite a bit over the past few years.”

    That’s probably the least of how Keefe has changed his thinking. If the name rings a bell, it was 15 years ago when he was one of the brightest stars in the OHL, a scoring champion drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. All of that, however, was clouded by his association with the odious David Frost, a coach and agent who put together a cabal of young players willing to break all the rules and thumb their noses at authority.

    With the Barrie Colts, they hacked and fought and insulted their way to an OHL championship and, very nearly, a Memorial Cup.

    When they did win that OHL title, Keefe famously refused to shake the hand of league commissioner David Branch.

    “This must burn your ass,” he sneered at Branch. It’s one of many things from that time he regrets.

    “I’ve had the great fortune to shake David Branch’s hand a number of times since I’ve been back in OHL, something I’m very grateful for,” says Keefe. “If we were able to win the OHL again, I’d be certain go out of my way to shake his hand.”

    Frost became one of the most notorious characters in the sport for his involvement in the incarceration of Mike Danton (Jefferson), and later for being embroiled in allegations of sexual exploitation. Frost was acquitted of those charges.

    Keefe has said publicly he broke with Frost many years ago, and a phone call “would not be welcome.” Danton played two years at St. Mary’s University after being released following his conviction on charges of trying to arrange for someone to murder Frost. He is currently playing pro hockey in Poland.

    Keefe was never implicated in any crime. But his reputation was thoroughly besmirched through those relationships, and when his NHL career died after 125 games, it seemed likely we’d seen the last of him in the game.

    The road back to acceptance began with a willingness on the part of others to take a second look.

    “I don’t take a lot of time to reflect, just keep pressing on,” Keefe says. “But there are times when I stop, think what I’ve gone through, think about what I’ve overcome, and been grateful for opportunities people kept giving me despite all the baggage I carried with me that would have prevented most people putting themselves out.

    “Much of my motivation on a daily basis is to prove those people right.”

    Keefe, meanwhile, found his niche as a coach without Frost and Danton, leading Pembroke to five straight league titles and the 2011 Royal Bank Cup. He began to reach out for a new image, first through social media, rather than living in the shadows.

    “There was a time, as it was quite publicized, that I got caught up in stuff and my true self didn’t come to the forefront,” he says. “I didn’t want to lay in the weeds. I wanted to be the coach, to have my vision, to have it all fall on me and have my true character show up.”

    He began to be noticed by Hockey Canada, and in December 2012, Dubas, then running a losing Greyhounds operation in need of a turnaround, hired Keefe to take over from Mike Stapleton as head coach. The controversial appointment was viewed with skepticism, and all the Frost stories re-emerged.

    “I just felt that as I dealt more directly with more families, eventually the word was going to get out there were good things going on.”

    In Dubas, he found a kindred spirit, at least in the sense they were both interested in finding new answers to age-old hockey questions. The blue collar Soo, with a deep and traditional hockey culture, had been used to producing tough hockey clubs. But as Keefe began to be increasingly intrigued by Dubas’s fascination with analytics, together they began to find a different way of trying to build a winner.

    “The biggest change for the Greyhounds was in the style of player which was appealing to Kyle. The way it worked out, it’s become the same type of player I’m attracted to and see value in. So our visions aligned,” says Keefe.

    “For us, the value of speed and skill and hockey sense would far outweigh any physical attributes. We wanted people who have the ability to make plays and have speed.

    “The foundation is the understanding that when we carried the puck over the blue line offensively, we created more offence,” he says. “Within that, we understood there was a correlation between carrying puck over our own blue line and how it influenced what we could do at the other team’s blue line, so we worked on different schemes and mechanisms to do that.

    “After that, it just made sense we had to try and prevent the opposition from doing the same. I’ve enjoyed watching it a lot. It’s been fun to see the whole thing develop.”

    This year’s Greyhounds were already a strong team, then turned into a powerhouse by adding NHL draftees Nick Ritchie, Anthony DeAngelo and Justin Bailey before the OHL trade deadline. They ended up leading the league with 110 points, scored 342 goals, had 10 players with at least 20 goals and scored more than five or more goals in a game 39 times.

    Beyond this — Keefe has also been appointed to be an assistant coach with Hockey Canada’s under-18 program — he insists he’s not trying to do more with his coaching career than he did with his playing career, or eliminate the warts from his life story.

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    And then guess who brought Keefe to the Maple Leafs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    As a coach. Jeez
    Even more laughable. How is a under 30 guy who can’t play hockey groom an NHL guy to be a coach? He’s defnitely smarter than bloggers, but not equal to the upper class hockey guys that, you know, can draw a drill on the glass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Even more laughable. How is a under 30 guy who can’t play hockey groom an NHL guy to be a coach? He’s defnitely smarter than bloggers, but not equal to the upper class hockey guys that, you know, can draw a drill on the glass.
    Did you read the article? Really, I don't need to say anything. The article speaks for itself.

    Are you getting hung up on the word groomed? Please. I said he found, hired and groomed Keefe. By groomed I meant what the article said. Shorthand for believing in, working with and sharing ideas. Brought him into TWO jobs, Thought the quote saying he was HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY DUBAS was pretty clear. Or the part where he wanted to understand Dubas analytics.

    Who/what are you questioning here?

    Fuckin Keefe owes his coaching career to Dubas. Of course, Keefe is responsible for his own success.

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