An open letter from a long suffering Leafs fan to Brendan Shanahan after the Dubas firing.

Published May 19, 2023 at 10:26 PM

Hi Brendan,

Listen, I'm probably not someone you're going to factor into your decision making process, I'm just a fan who's lucky enough to cover this team in writing. After a hell of a day at work, a Friday before the long weekend, I sat down and listened to your press conference. It would suffice to say that I have questions, about yourself and about the future of this hockey team that I hold so close to my heart.

First off, I understand that your job is difficult, I understand that being the guy in charge of the team with the largest fanbase and the most media attention in the league is not easy. As Leafs fans, we've been waiting decades for a team that we can be proud of. In the 9 years you've been in charge, we've approached respectability, but we haven't gotten there yet. One trip past the first round only to be ousted in 5 games, that's just not good enough. That's on both you and Kyle.

I do agree with you that Kyle Dubas did an excellent job with the team this year. I think that all the moves he made, with the exception of the Matt Murray trade, made the team better. His record at the draft was impeccable, and he very obviously learned on the job year over year. From what I understand, his dismissal boiled down to a gut feeling regarding his commitment level. The money thing? Come on, you're the second richest team in a hard cap league. That wasn't the sticking point. If it was, the Leafs need new ownership. You doubted his commitment and rather than coming back to the table or talking to him first. You walked into his office and fired him. By your own admission, you didn't talk to his agent again, you didn't come back with the original offer or try to meet in the middle. You fired him based on your gut. Well your gut had better be right.

The fallout from all this has immediately caused complete and utter chaos. The best player we've had since Mats Sundin has gone from wanting an extension a year early to ensure he stays here to wanting to wait it out until his NMC kicks in and seeing where things go from there. You've lost all control of the Auston Matthews situation. If you're not careful, we're about so wind up on the wrong end of the next «Tkachuk trade.» That alone is a massive problem that needs to be addressed immediately. Firing Dubas also cost the team Jason Spezza, did your gut take that into consideration? He resigned the same day you fired Dubas. That's a towering red flag if I've ever seen one.

What I'm really trying to say here is that you'd better have a plan, and it better be a good one. As Leafs fans, we bought in. We've trusted you for 9 years of The Shanaplan. Where do we go next? By the sounds of your press conference, you don't know right now. You don't have a plan in place. You've fired the best GM we've had in 2 decades and you have no idea who his replacement will be or when it will happen. Not only that, but you've done it at an absolutely crucial point in time. This could cost us our franchise player and more!

Whoever you do bring in as GM has an absolute mountain of work in front of them the second they take the job. If the core is indeed being brought back, there's at least 3 new contracts, critical ones at that, that need to be negotiated over the next two seasons. That's if, IF they want to come back. Either that or at least one, probably more franchise altering trades right out of the gate unless you want pennies on the dollar in return. What a brilliant situation to put someone in who hasn't even had a chance to memorize where everyone's offices are, let alone understand this team.

You, Mr Shanahan, have quite possibly set off a chain of events that leads us from rising towards being contenders back to being the laughing stock of the league. As fans, we deserve better, we demand better, and if you don't clean up this mess, it will be you that is packing up your desk next. Finding a GM better than Kyle Dubas won't be easy, you'd better get to work!
May 19   |   266 answers
An open letter from a long suffering Leafs fan to Brendan Shanahan after the Dubas firing.

Was firing Dubas the right move?

It's going to cost Shanny his job5621.1 %
Shanny, Dubas and Keefe all need to go12747.7 %
Dubas should have been kept on8331.2 %
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