Insider: Maple Leafs Leaning In One Direction On Future of Kyle Dubas

As the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to unpack another disastrous finish to a season, many eyes are on general manager Kyle Dubas. He was praised for finally bringing in the type of help at the trade deadline that would serve them well in the playoffs. 

But the end result was the same. Disappointment and early elimination. 

Heads will roll, but will the architect of this talented but underachieving team be one of them?

According to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, Dubas will be back, and discussions are already underway, internally. 

I would be surprised if there were not discussions already about bringing him back. You have to get there in terms that everyone would be happy with, but at the base, my personal belief is that they've had discussions about bringing him back. 

"They have to get this done quickly because they have a lot of decisions to make up and down the roster and around the team, plus also he's got to know if he's comfortable with his next contract offer whenever that comes. But I think that's priority one, and I think they've discussed it internally.

Jonas Siegel of The Athletic doubles-down on Friedman's thoughts, saying the Leafs must re-sign Dubas. 

"He’s the best GM the Leafs have had in the last 20 years and it’s not really all that close. (Who’s No. 2?)," writes Siegel. 

But then he adds an important caveat:

"Will the Leafs make a commitment that entices him to stay? That seems like an important part of this whole conversation. A short-term deal may not do it for Dubas, not when there are other jobs available now and jobs to be had down the line. More autonomy is sure to be a requirement for him as well."

But if he returns, Dubas will have to operate in a different way going forward. He'll have to make some painfully tough decisions, like moving on from his hand-picked coach and dealing one/some of his core pieces so that this team can get a fresh re-start. 

"He’ll need to summon his inner Steve Yzerman and give no f—s after all this," is the way that Siegel put it. 

Leaf fans are in for one wild ride this offseason. And it starts very soon, with some important no-trade clauses about to kick in, in just a few weeks' time. Expect some big moves in short order. 

Photo: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports