With the Toronto Maple Leafs exiting the playoffs in the first round for the sixth year in a row, pressure appears to be mounting on General Manager Kyle Dupas.
said Dubas, who is entering the final year of his contract Steve Simmons from the Toronto SunHowever, his focus on the team goes well beyond ending the drought in the team’s first round.
“You want to win every year, which is why you do these jobs,” Dubas said. “You’re at that point where that’s our goal. To win. Not just to win the Tour. Our goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Not to win a series, it’s to win everything. That’s what we focus on.
“When we make a decision, I never once think: ‘How will it affect what people think of me? Do you think ‘Will it help our team achieve our goal?’ That’s all that guides every decision I make in the short and long term. Is this decision the best for the Maple Leafs team in helping us achieve our goals.”
The Maple Leafs scored a franchise best of 115 points last season, in his first 82 appearances under coach Sheldon Cave. The team finished second in the Atlantic League behind the Florida Panthers and lost in Game 7 of the first-round series to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
All eyes are on the Toronto network
The changes to the Maple Leafs off-season herald her new look at the network, with Matt Murrayobtained in trade from Ottawa Senators, the free agent website Ilya Samsonov To replace the duo who started last season from Jack Campbell And the Peter Marazek.
Getting Murray was a controversial option made by the Maple Leafs. The senators traded the 2023 third-round draft, the 2024 seventh-round pick and reserved 25 percent of Murray’s salary for his transfer to Toronto in July.
The 28-year-old was limited to just 47 starts over two seasons in Ottawa after signing a four-year, $25 million contract with an average annual value of $6.25 million. The Leafs will pay Murray $4.68 million over the next two years while this deal is executed.
Murray, who played under Dupas with OHL’s Soo Greyhounds, scored a 0.906 save percentage and 3.05 goal-for-average in 20 games last season.
“In Murray’s case, he’s done this before. He’s won (the Stanley Cup). He’s done it twice (with the Pittsburgh Penguins). I know[Ottawa]has moved on from him. The benefit to me is that I know him personally,” Dubbas said. I believe in it. Play for me (in the juniors). I agree with (former General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins) Jim Rutherford. When he has to prove himself and fight for Grid, that’s when he was at his best.”
Samsonov arrived at the free agent market after not being offered a bid by Washington Capitals as a restricted free agent this summer.
The 25-year-old, who set a record 23-12-5 with 896 saves and 3.02 GAA in 44 games last year, joined the Maple Leafs on a one-year deal worth $1.8 million.
“What I saw about him this summer is a very strong commitment to his profession,” Dubas said. “I liked this. In terms of why the audience believed in him, well I’ll say this: He believes in himself.
“That’s why he took one year, bet on some kind of deal for himself. He could have had more. He could have had more. He was adamant on one year and insisted that he would prove himself that year.”