Highlights from Kyle Dubas’ Big Week media availability – TheLeafsNation


When Kyle speaks, we listen. Whether or not we agree remains to be seen, but we certainly listen and have thoughts on what he says. It’s in that spirit that we’ve gathered the highlights of his media availability and we can start seeing what he has in the works for this week. It will be a busy one. It might not be sign Pietrangelo, Hall, and trade a core player big, but it seems reasonable to expect we’ll have a new prospect that we like and shiny new defensemen, and from the sounds of it, some tough guys to cheer for as well.

So this is a stance that I’ve become increasingly comfortable with as the draft approaches. As much as I’m giddy over prospects, the reality is the Leafs are best served by getting players who can help them now. Trading a first round pick definitely does that, but so does drafting a NHL ready player. And there is also the issue of the Leafs not sitting on a ton of cap space to simply deal a pick for player and take on that salary. However, there is chatter.

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Like what was mentioned in the previous tweet there could be a premium put on finding players who are more NHL ready and have a shot at breaking into the league now. I’d think of players like Rodion Amirov who is playing in the KHL, or in a wonderful situation where Anton Lundell slides in the draft, these could be players that can make an immediate difference for the Leafs.

I’d also take this as players like Korshkov and Robertson having a very real shot at being on the Leafs roster out of camp next season.

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The last one on trading of the pick, I wouldn’t doubt that this could be an 11th hour move, where if the player another team still wants is available at 15, that Dubas might get his asking price for this pick. Again, as someone who loves the idea of having a shiny new prospect to care about, the fact that Dubas seems willing to listen on absolutely everything is encouraging and this isn’t a door he should be looking to close early.

Big if true.

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So there is a lot to being a harder team to play against, and this likely doesn’t mean going out and adding Ryan Reaves and Radko Gudas and calling it a day. The Leafs need practical toughness that can be inserted into all situations not just 4th line and bottom pairing duties. Unfortunately that talent is harder to find, and while I’ve interpreted this answer as physical play so far, it can mean a lot of other things too. Players that more aggressively retrieve pucks, leave less space when defending, or generally are harder to knock off the puck or play less predictably. I’d be very curious in knowing which players Dubas has identified as fitting his mold for this, but I guess we’ll see a few of them soon.

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This is a bit of a bummer because the Leafs would be able to gather quite a haul for Andersen, but carefully including the words “as of this moment” allude to the fact that things aren’t done here. In what is shaping up to be a high movement, and high price offseason for goaltenders, the idea that Dubas won’t cash in on Andersen, who only has one year left, and is owed only $1M in salary this year is a bit strange. That said, if he’s being offered absolute garbage for Andersen, I can see his point. If he’s holding onto him because he can’t land Dougie Hamilton straight up for him, I think Dubas might need to be a tad more flexible.

The return of Jason Spezza is certainly a welcome one. He wants to win, he wants to win in Toronto, and the Leafs will get the last of his hockey out of him at the most bargain of prices. Hopefully Toronto will do right by him as well and give him a chance to see hockey beyond the opening round of the playoffs, especially considering the team he left before Toronto marched on to the finals this past season.

Looking at the Marner contract it doesn’t seem like he had a good read on contracts last year either. Amirite? Folks? Okay, whatever.

Heading into free agency with caution is good advice at the best of times, and in the worst of times, the Leafs have a chance to collect a lot of decent players later on if they don’t receive the deals they really wanted on the first day. A patient Dubas in free agency is our friend. Let him do his thing.

I think a big part of this is holding out to see what they can get done with Evan Rodrigues. They aren’t going to announce the rest of the RFA qualifying offers and not his, they will do it all at once. Additionally what happens with Rodrigues might impact what they do with someone like Gauthier.

I think a big part of this is holding out to see what they can get done with Evan Rodrigues. They aren’t going to announce the rest of the RFA qualifying offers and not his, they will do it all at once. Additionally what happens with Rodrigues might impact what they do with someone like Gauthier.

There is also that factor of teams like Montreal, Winnipeg, and others getting their lists done early and there are both lessons to be learned by what they are doing, as well as unqualified RFAs will make for an interesting bottom six forward/ bottom pairing D market. Also there is the Rodrigues factor and they might be able to play hardball with him and remind him that any contract is a good contract.

I’m assuming Pridham is just a fun guy and a good listener.

Also, this is a pretty big acknowledgement that the Leafs will be as creative as possible with the salary cap and as tight to it as can be.

Okay so that’s not really a free agency one, but as we close out this post it’s a good reminder that with the potentially short turnaround before hockey returns, being on the ice in Toronto and working out with teammates is a nice advantage. There was plenty of downtime between March and June that a little work right now shouldn’t seem like the end of the world.

In reality not a lot was said here. Not much should have been expected either. Dubas put just enough out there, while not really saying a whole lot. He’s clearly listening on Andersen and the 15th overall pick, and he’s wanting to play a bit more aggressively. That’s essentially the message to take into the next few days, which should include more actions and fewer words.