With the management and coaching staff seeming to be complete for the Toronto Maple Leafs, now may be the best time to break it all down. So here goes, the recent hiring of Lou Lamoriello may have come as a shock to many Leafs fans, but all the recent hirings have proven that the Leafs are committed to the future of the franchise.
Let’s start with Lamoriello. His greatest contribution to the rebuild may not be a big trade or hiring, but instead with what he can do with Kyle Dubas. Lamoriello already said that he sees great potential in Dubas, stating at a press conference that if Dubas does not become a general manager it will be “his fault.”
The plan appears to be to have the 72 year-old general manager mentor Dubas. This is proven by the fact that president Brendan Shanahan basically admitted it at the press conference when he said the hiring was a chance for Lamoriello to mentor the entire staff. There is no beating around the bush, he was hired because Shanahan doesn’t think Dubas is ready and wants to give him a chance to learn from a veteran.
Now, lets move to Mike Babcock. He was hired by the Leafs to change the culture of the team. But an unexpected bonus could be that newly hired Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe will have a chance to observe and learn from him. Keefe has ties with Kyle Dubas, as Keefe was Dubas’ coach in Sault St. Marie. So as Dubas is learning what it takes to be an NHL G.M., Keefe has a chance to figure out how to become as successful as Mike Babcock. Dubas said in a recent TSN interview that the two coaches working and learning from each other is “vital” to the team. The two will have to work together as Keefe will have to get the Leafs prospects ready to be able to play for Babcock’s Leafs.
With Babcock helping Keefe, Leafs prospects will benefit as well, instilling in them a winning attitude and as Babcock would say a “safe environment.”
What the end result of the recent hirings remains to be seen, but at least for now the future of the buds appears to be brighter. Leafs management finally seems to be heading in the right direction with this rebuild.
Have a great long weekend everyone!
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Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy