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Kyle Dubas talks about toughness, the team and re-signing Gardiner

This is going to take some getting used to, these regular GM chats.

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Kyle Dubas takes you through the PPP back catalogue today in his press scrum. Don’t believe me? Follow along, and watch the video.

Dubas starts off talking about how happy he is with the Leafs’ spot in the standings, and then he gushes about John Tavares. Everybody has written on that topic.

Next up he talks about how he wants to re-sign Jake Gardiner. It’s not a given he will be able to, and he speaks honestly about the cap situation as a hurdle.

I have mentioned this myself in comments, but I’ll say now that I believe the Leafs seriously want to sign Gardiner to an extension, and will so it if they get him to agree to a favourable deal.

Are the Leafs looking to make a trade for a defenceman? Dubas talked around that a lot, but he said ultimately that if their zone exits aren’t better by February, he will look at improving the team.

Interestingly, he doesn’t lay their issues all on the defence.

On Timothy Liljegren, he sounds not at all optimistic that his injury will heal in time for the WJC, but he gushes over Rasmus Sandin’s play.

(Dubas reads MLHS too.)

He does spontaneously suggest the Leafs were planning on having Liljegren challenge for a spot on the Leafs this year. We’ve never written anything about that because — to be honest, here — no one around here seems to really buy into that as a serious plan.

Dubas also does not care that William Nylander is not perfect out of the gate. We haven’t written about that because — to be honest — well, duh, of course he’s not.

Next up is a question I can’t hear that is about toughness. And I love this part. Dubas is very dubious as the question is asked, but he’s very sure of his answer. He makes the point that the Leafs are bigger than a lot of teams, and he mentions in a tone of weariness that he’s been asked this question for years about the need for toughness. His summation:

“I don’t buy it.”

Seriously, he is so done with this concept of adding one big or tough player to the team to fight because that supposedly makes you better.

He gushes for a bit about Mitch Marner, and now’s a good time to just drop your bonus content with Mitch being Mitch (And Auston Matthews, Natalie Spooner and Laura Stacey):

If you don’t watch this to the end, you’re missing out.

Oh, and then Dubas answers the ubiquitous offer sheet question, and he said to just read this:

Okay, he actually said this:

And he closes by saying he wants those two contracts done faster than Nylander’s was. Well, good, Dubas, because we’re becoming a Seattle Kraken blog if you do that to us again, and then what will you have to read?