At the midpoint of the season, Kyle Dubas met the media and answered some questions.
There wasn’t much earthshattering, but the highlights were:
Leafs GM Kyle Dubas on a media call says the preference would be to make a trade ASAP because of the 14-day quarantine. But as he says, it's takes two to tango.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 16, 2021
He later confirmed that while he never rules out any type of improvement to the team, they have only been discussing forwards so far. He also said that while normally he likes a deal like the Campbell trade, where the player has some term, this cap situation might make a true rental more feasible. However, he did say that if a trade for a player who would improve the team longer term was an option, they’d make it work if they liked the player.
He also talked about the current 14-day quarantine for players coming to Canada, and their hope that could be changed to the US system, which is seven days. There is no indication the Canadian government is giving this serious consideration, but they also have not categorically said no.
Dubas confirmed he would trade a top prospect for the right return.
I would put Robertson, Sandin, Liljegren and Amirov in the same category as a 1st round pick. https://t.co/v08eWZpcxC— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 16, 2021
Note: Dubas did not name names, but Dreger’s thoughts are reasonable given what would be asked. Fan belief that Dubas would never trade any given prospect is misplaced.
Prospects and Callups
Dubas mentioned that Semyon Der-Arguchintsev is in quarantine now, and will join the Marlies shortly. He also said that Filip Hållander and Denis Malgin may come over after their seasons are done. Both are under NHL contract and could join the Leafs, the Taxi Squad or the Marlies, Dubas did not specify.
He mentioned that Rasmus Sandin is nearing a return to play, and while he discussed the possibility of Nick Robertson — as well as Sandin and some others — joining the Leafs for the playoffs, he did not discuss a potential OHL season restart which would complicate things for Robertson.
Alex Galchenyuk is expected to get a chance in the NHL at some point, but the cap squeeze is a problem, and he confirmed Jimmy Vesey was waived to provide flexibility. Dubas also pointed out that some players like Travis Boyd and Jason Spezza have had their waivers exemptions expire.
Fun or Trivial Things
The NHL asked the Leafs to do the Amazon Prime show last season, but they declined. So we can imagine what that would have been in a spare moment.
Dubas would not talk about the Hyman contract, but did a routine praising him that sounded like a certain podcast we might be familiar with.
Kyle Dubas on whether #Leafs are "set" with goaltending:— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) March 16, 2021
"I think when healthy and when everyone is up and rolling, I think it's a great tandem. And Hutch has come in and given us good minutes...I've got a lot of belief in both Fred and Jack and Hutch when he's in."