Maple Leafs’ Dubas Trade History is Awful

The NHL is entering a time when the front office executives get more attention than the players on the ice. Those who sit in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ cubicles need to make significant moves before the trade deadline on Mar. 21. The goaltending has vanished, the defence is non-existent, and the depth is inadequate.

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The offence is the only thing keeping this team from free-falling down the standings. Kyle Dubas has to step up and address the needs if there’s a possibility of the second round of the playoffs, let alone a Stanley Cup. However, the general manager does not have a trade record that inspires confidence.

Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs
Kyle Dubas, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Alana Davidson/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dubas has made 47 trades since taking over as general manager in May of 2018. Unfortunately, of those 47 deals, there are not many winners, several that had no implications for either team and a lot of losers. A few weeks ago, Dubas was crowned the boy-wonder again after getting rid of Nick Ritchie and his contract – which the general manager signed just a few months earlier. Don’t look now, but Ritchie has three goals and five points in five games with the Arizona Coyotes. While the addition of Ilya Lybushkin on Toronto’s blue line has done little to stop the goals against.

Maple Leafs Lost More Trades with Dubas

Those 47 trades have seen a lot of talent leave the blue and white and not much replacing it. Several of the less than impressive deals pulled by Dubas were due to salary cap restrictions. That’s what happens when you pay four forwards more than 50% of your budget. Here are some of the players who’ve been shipped out and brought in via trade by Dubas and company.

Maple Leafs Trade Nazem Kadri

Nazem Kadri has 72 points in 55 games for the front-running and heavy Stanley Cup favourite Colorado Avalanche. On Jul. 1, 2019, the guy who seemingly would bleed blue was sent packing. Kadri, a hometown fan favourite, one of the grittiest players in recent memory, was no longer part of Toronto’s future after two straight seasons of playoff suspensions. In return, Tyson Barrie, a bust in Toronto, and Alex Kerfoot. Kerfoot has been okay, but he is no Kadri.

Maple Leafs Trade Mason Marchment

Mason Marchment has 34 points in 32 games for one of the best teams in hockey – the Florida Panthers. He is 6-foot-4 and 209 pounds. If that’s not enough, his dad, Bryan Marchment, was one of the meanest guys in the sport in the 1990s. Dubas traded away this great-looking prospect on Feb. 19, 2020, for Denis Malgin. Malgin played eight games for Toronto and never played another NHL game after that short stint. He is currently playing in Europe.

Maple Leafs Trade Connor Brown

Another hometown boy, Connor Brown, has been a bright spot for a rather dismal Ottawa Senators team every year since being sent there on July 1, 2019. He’s a top-six forward who is progressing at a half-a-point a game trend through his six NHL seasons. He was used to convince Ottawa to take an overpaid Nikita Zaitsev.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Mistake with Jared McCann

In return, Toronto got Ben Harpur and Aaron Luchuk, who never played for the Leafs and Cody Ceci. Ceci suited up for one inconsistent season. Dubas also got a third-round pick that was later traded to Columbus. Zaitsev is still playing in Ottawa with top-four minutes on the blue line.

Maple Leafs Trade Kasperi Kapanen

Kasperi Kapanen has been in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ top six for most of the time since being dealt on Aug. 25, 2020. Fair to say he landed on his feet playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. In return, Toronto got three players who never suited up for the team and a first-round draft pick. High draft picks are not needed when a team needs to win now. That pick was used to select Rodion Amirov, an exciting prospect who, unfortunately, has been diagnosed with a brain tumour, and his future is unclear. We wish him all the best.

Maple Leafs Trade Matt Martin

Matt Martin was the first protector of the young crop of teenagers that would be Toronto’s future. Nevertheless, on Jul. 3, 2018, the enforcer was sent back to Long Island to play for the New York Islanders. This team initially drafted the 6-foot-3 220 pound beast of a man. Ever since that day, Toronto has been searching for toughness. Dubas has never matched what Martin brought to the team and is still giving to the Islanders to this day. Instead, Toronto received Eamon McAdam, who has never played an NHL game.

Maple Leafs Aquired Players via Trade

Those trades had fans watching good players leave town, for little in return. But, Dubas has made trades to acquire players who would have an immediate impact. These are the deals done closer to the trade deadline as Dubas has been in the fortunate position of always being a buyer. That advantage has not resulted in many wins.

Maple Leafs Trade for Nick Foligno

Nick Foligno tried to sell the fan base on his history with the club but quickly tucked tail and ran to the rival Boston Bruins this past off-season. Toronto paid a first-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for 11 games of Foligno.

Nick Foligno Morgan Rielly Mitchell Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Foligno played just 11 games for Toronto and cost a first-round draft pick. (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)

Most concerning, he was injured when he was acquired and stated he had a nagging back injury. Foligno has been in and out of the Bruins lineup all season due to injures. He is currently not playing after sustaining an upper-body injury during a fight. No word if he still has that vintage Starter Maple Leafs hat.

Maple Leafs Trade for David Rittich

Another blunder at the 2020-21 trade deadline, David Rittich. Toronto paid Calgary a third-round pick for four games from the goaltender. Unfortunately, he wasn’t that great in those games with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage. By the time the playoffs rolled around, he wasn’t even on the bench.

Maple Leafs Trade for Jake Muzzin

Not all of the Dubas deals have been as bad as those listed above. He did acquire Jake Muzzin on Feb. 24, 2019, from the LA Kings. But Toronto did pay for Muzzin with a first-round pick and two prospects. That draft pick turned into Tobias Bjornfot, and the prospects were Carl Grundstrom and Sean Durzi. The trio is on the Kings’ current roster, and the team that was rebuilding when they traded away Muzzin is now in a playoff spot.

Maple Leafs Trade for Jack Campbell

Dubas restocked the Kings again one year later when he acquired backup goalie Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford. Campbell surprised the hockey world with his performance last season and the start of this season. He has been the best trade Dubas made to date. But Campbell has been struggling of late, and that best deal title is in jeopardy. The Kings received Trevor Moore and two third-round draft picks. This season, Moore has 33 points in 58 games for the playoff-bound Kings.

Dubas is likely to add a few more to that list of 47 trades in the coming days. The trade deadline is on Mar. 21, and he doesn’t have a playoff-ready team. So if the front office doesn’t do something now, they will be doing something later – packing boxes and moving out to make way for a new management team.