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Does Kyle Dubas have the experience the Buffalo Sabres need?

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Terry Pegula said he wants experience running his team, but Dubas has never been in charge at the NHL level.

2015 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

After the Buffalo Sabres fired General Manager Tim Murray, owner/meddler Terry Pegula held a press conference and when asked about how the search for a new GM would go, Pegula said this:

“I would say that is a safe assumption. Experience is going to be key in our search. Without disclosing specific details about our plan, and our plan may change as we start talking to people, but the plan is to build a strong organization from top to bottom.”

Even though Pegula specified that he wanted experience in his front office, a couple of people started wondering if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Kyle Dubas is one of the names on the list:

Et tu, Fulemin?

Leafs fans are all a twitter that Dubas may leave the Leafs, despite Dubas being in position to take over the Maple Leafs’ GM position once Lou’s contract is up after next season (for the record there is talk about Mark Hunter taking over as well).

Does Dubas have the experience that Terry Pegula is looking for?

Kyle Dubas grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and was around the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL team all his life. His Grandfather coach the team in the 60’s and Kyle was a scout for the team, even while attending Brock University.

In 2011 and just 24 years old, Kyle Dubas was named General Manager of the Greyhounds. In his three years running the team, the Greyhounds finished fifth, second, and first in their division. The Greyhounds missed the playoffs by one point, lost in the first round, then went out in round two.

Dubas was well known during this time as someone who was running a team differently. A focus on analytics brought the Greyhounds attention, and he turned the team around from bottom of the standings to a 95 point contending team that was still high up the list of OHL power houses this season.

In 2014 Dubas was named Assistant General Manager of the Leafs at the age of 28. He helped tear down the roster and rebuild it to the one we have now. He helped create the analytics department that is stocked with some of the top names in the game and is headed up by the man who helped write the CBA. He’s been General Manager of the Toronto Marlies since he arrived with the Maple Leafs, and has also overseen the work the club does with the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears.

The Marlies have done very well under Dubas’ watch. His first year they placed second in the division, but fell in the first round. Last season they were first with a 54-16-5-1 record, and went all the way to the conference finals, where a veteran Hershey Bears team stopped their quest for the Calder. This year they finished second in the division and are currently battling the Albany Devils in the first round.

Over the past six years, Kyle Dubas has run two teams, the Soo Greyhounds and the Toronto Marlies. He’s also been working under Lou Lamoriello with the Maple Leafs.

Is Terry Pegula looking for NHL experience when he says that he wants someone experienced for his team, or is he looking for anyone who’s held a high ranking role in a hockey club?

John Shannon mentions Mike Futa - Assistant General Manager for the Los Angeles Kings, Jason Botterill - Associate General Manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Craig Conroy - Assistant General Manager for the Calgary Flames as names of interest as well. None of these men have been General Managers before, but they have more NHL experience than Kyle Dubas does.

Mike Futa was General Manager of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack before joining the LA Kings in 2007. Futa would be the Director of Amateur Scouting, VP of Hockey Operations, and Director of Player Personnel before adding AGM to his resume, while helping the Kings win two Stanley Cups.

Craig Conroy was a 20 year NHL player before retiring and becoming Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Calgary Flames in 2011. Three years ago he was named Assistant General Manager by Brad Treliving, which is his current role.

Jason Botterill was an up and down player, going from the NHL to AHL his entire career. He retired during the lost season and went on to get his MBA from the University of Michigan. After graduating, he joined the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007 as Director of Hockey Administration. In 2009 he became Assistant General Manager, which he held until he was re-titled Associate General Manager by Jim Rutherford. Botterill has been in the Penguins front office for two Stanley Cup victories.

When Terry Pegula talks about experience, I’m sure Stanley Cups and longevity with a team in management or as a player comes into play. Is Dubas their man? They’d be silly not to look into it or ask to talk to him, but it’s reaching.

Personally I think that Botterill or Futa have the leg up over Dubas, but I don’t count out the anger over the Leafs poaching Mike Babcock from them playing a role here.

Would the Maple Leafs let Dubas look at the position, or is all this talk just everyone making everything about the Maple Leafs again?

Poll

Will Kyle Dubas be the Buffalo Sabres GM?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Yes
    (245 votes)
  • 46%
    No
    (616 votes)
  • 34%
    No and fire Fulemin for suggesting it
    (450 votes)
1311 votes total Vote Now