Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is well aware that this might be his last shot to move the needle for the team. Another first-round playoff exit, especially on the heels of last spring’s spectacular meltdown after gaining a 3-1 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens, would almost certainly bring sweeping changes to the organization.
“I think it’s certainly fair to ponder and especially given the fact we are going to return the same core group, which I have great belief in,” the Toronto Sun reported Dubas telling the Bob McCown podcast.. “If I didn’t have belief in it, knowing the consequences to the team, we wouldn’t have returned it.”
— Nylander for Tkachuk Bag Head (@torontobaghead) September 7, 2021
Dubas bought and paid for this team, so he’ll either set sail or sink with this group.
The Leafs haven’t won a playoff series since 2004, the year prior to the NHL’s season-long lockdown that brought in the salary cap.
Flames Sign Gudbranson
In the NHL, veteran defenseman are like left-handed pitchers in baseball. They always manage to find a job somewhere. The Calgary Flames are the latest stop for journeyman Erik Gudbranson. He signed a one-year deal with them for $1.95 million. They’ll be his seventh NHL team in 12 seasons.
The Flames also kept veteran defenseman Michael Stone on a one-year pact for $750,000.
Pittsburgh: With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin out to start the season, if the Penguins want help at center, here’s a look at some of their options.
Vegas: With their win now attitude from the moment they joined the NHL, it’s easy to forget that that Vegas Golden Knights have prospects in their system. One of them is forward Peyton Krebs, who played for Canada at the 2020 world juniors. Is this the year he makes the team?
Detroit: Sizing up Seider. The Red Wings haven’t suited up a Calder winner since goalie Roger Crozier in 1964-65. Defenseman Moritz Seider will be a contender this season but he’ll have plenty of competition.