Kyle Dubas joined Tim & Sid on Tuesday evening to discuss the acquisition of Alexander Barabanov, in addition to ample Wrestlemania 36 talk.
Alexander Barabanov — you managed to lock that down today. He has won a lot. He is one of those players that finds his way onto teams that do eventually win over in the KHL and the Olympics. How much stock do you put into something like that?
Dubas: I think it is one of the elements that can separate a player if you think your evaluation is close on talent and skill and all of the other areas that we grade in. I think you, obviously, from that point, would go to the character part and their experience. A lot of the questions we ask ourselves — it doesn’t necessarily apply with the timing of the year — is: Can the player perform late in the year? We use the expression, “Will the player be able to play in June and be a good player in June?” which is where we’d like to go to in time.
In Alex’s case, he has been a part of an excellent team. He has contributed not just with his production but just in the way that he plays on a very good team deep into seasons every year in the KHL and at the World Championships and the Olympics. It shows that he can be versatile in what he can contribute. He can obviously produce and put up points, but he is also a competitive player that is reliable and strong and willing to dig deep as the season wears on. You always have a need for guys like that. That was sort of where we went in our evaluation of him.
How do you prepare for the unknown?
Dubas: I would like to have a great answer and an inspiring answer, but the reality is you don’t know. You do your best to bring out the ideas of your staff and the different ways that people on our staff look at things in terms of the on-ice product and all of the different parts that go into that — the scouting, the development, the salary-cap management — and what we are going to do when we inevitably return to play at some point in the future. You are trying to keep everybody engaged — the players and the staff — as much as possible. You try to outline and envision every possible scenario that we can so that, no matter what comes, we’ve already thought about it and planned for it.
As they say, “Plans are worthless but planning is the key to moving ahead.” That is what we have tried to do while doing our part in the community and spreading the message and trying to promote everybody staying at home and to protect the front-line workers who are doing such a wonderful job for our community to try to defeat this thing as quick as we can.
Yesterday, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Patrick Marleau had a Zoom chat. In the middle of that chat, someone’s phone started ringing. It was Mitch Marner’s house phone. He claimed, having been there for three weeks, it is the first time the phone had rung and he did not recognize his own home phone right. Knowing Mitch the way you know him, does that story surprise you?
Dubas: No, I can’t believe that any of our players actually have a home phone at this point. I actually don’t know the last time I have been in any house and seen a home phone. I think everyone just operates off of their cell phones these days from what I thought. It doesn’t surprise me whatsoever. I am more surprised that he actually has a home telephone. That’s interesting.