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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.
Dubas has made a lot of trades since taking over as general manager in May 2018. Unfortunately, of those 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 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 had 87 points in 71 games for the Colorado Avalanche during their Stanley Cup run of 2022. 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 had 47 points in 54 games for the Florida Panthers after the trade. 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 eight NHL seasons. He was used to convince Ottawa to take an overpaid Nikita Zaitsev.
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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 currently playing in Chicago with top-four minutes on the blue line.
Maple Leafs Trade Kasperi Kapanen
Kasperi Kapanen had 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 Acquired 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.
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.
Dubas is likely to add a few more to that list of trades.