Maple Leafs hire Kyle Dubas

Updated: July 22, 2014, 11:50 AM ET
By Craig Custance | ESPN The Magazine

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced a front-office shakeup Tuesday, firing assistant general managers Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle and replacing them with 28-year-old Kyle Dubas.

It's the first major culture shift for the Maple Leafs under new president Brendan Shanahan, who retained both GM Dave Nonis and coach Randy Carlyle after joining the team in April.

Brendan Shanahan
Bruce Bennett/Getty ImagesBrendan Shanahan's hiring of Kyle Dubas could be a sign that the Maple Leafs now will embrace analytics.

"Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years," Shanahan said in a team release. "He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come."

The move is a signal that the Maple Leafs are now embracing analytics under Shanahan after resistance from the previous regime. As general manager of the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, Dubas was progressive in his use of analytics in developing systems and roster construction. During a May interview with ESPN The Magazine, Dubas shared some of his philosophy, one that is a departure from the way the Maple Leafs have played.

"It's not any secret if you watch our team you'll begin to see it clearly we don't really dump the puck in," Dubas said. "We want our players to solve problems and make plays with the puck. ... One-hundred years of history will show you that the best way [to score goals] is to outshoot teams and get more shot attempts."

Dubas, who has been called hockey's Theo Epstein, was named one of the youngest GMs in the OHL after leaving the agent business, where he was the youngest agent ever certified by the NHL Players' Association. His hire by Toronto continues a quick rise through hockey.

"The chance to work for the Toronto Maple Leafs is like a dream come true," Dubas said in the release. "I'm truly excited to begin helping this team win and learn from men like Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis."

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