On Tuesday morning, Kyle Dubas issued a statement on Twitter addressing his departure from the Maple Leafs organization.
While I understand there is interest surrounding the circumstances of my departure, I will not get into specifics of what I consider to be reasonable and consistent but private discussions. In the days that I felt I needed to assess and evaluate my own view to the future, both with respect to the necessary direction of the Club and ensuring that I had the full support of my family for what I knew would be required in the offseason and years to follow, the organization, as is their right to do, decided to go in a different direction.
In the nine seasons since being afforded the opportunity to work in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, we have had the chance to learn a lot and have grown significantly through the ups and downs. We have watched our family double in size while developing meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime. It was an honour to be able to work in such an inspiring place, with dedicated, loyal people and an extremely passionate fan base.
The impact of that and the relationships with all of the people at MLSE, from the board of directors through to the ushers at Scotiabank Arena, will forever hold a dear place in our hearts. To the players, coaches, and staff at the facility each day, past and present, thank you for your passion and commitment at every step of the journey together. It was a tremendous pleasure to work alongside each of you. We will roll from here.
– The Dubas Family
It’s difficult not to interpret Dubas’ choice not to detail any of what he called “reasonable but private” discussions as his own version of a “taking the high road” approach after Brendan Shanahan laid out a very detailed timeline of events to the media in his press conference last Friday. He also referred to the conversations as consistent; he seems to not view any of what Brendan Shanahan perceived as to some degree out of left field — the press-conference comments, the change in the financial structure of the contract — to be anything that was irreconcilable with their earlier private discussions.
The phrasing of taking time to evaluate the “necessary direction of the club” is also interesting — it could be interpreted as a reference to the rumoured issues around the chain of command and the pace of the decision-making process under the ownership board-Shanahan-Dubas structure, or it could simply be about what was likely going to be a tough offseason of decisions, including potentially breaking one or two loyalty oaths to the likes of Sheldon Keefe or his core players.
Not mentioning Brendan Shanahan by name sort of conjures up memories of when Mike Babcock left the team following his firing, issued a similar statement (without granting any interviews), and did not mention Dubas by name in the statement.
There is also a lot of signaling of what is most important to Dubas at this time, between writing the statement as “We” the family (and signing it off as “The Dubas Family”) to altering his Twitter bio to read only “Husband and Dad.”
Now, with permission granted to Pittsburgh to speak with Dubas and the unending buzz surrounding Ottawa under their soon-to-be new ownership (note: Dubas was a Senators fan growing up), we wait to find out if Dubas is going to stick to his firm indication from last Monday that even if he wasn’t in Toronto past the end of his contract, he wouldn’t be popping up in a new job elsewhere in the next few weeks due to the toll the past year took on his family.