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Fancy that: Reactions to Toronto hiring Dubas

Jul 22, 2014, 7:38 PM EDT

Many believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring more stats-friendly hockey mind Kyle Dubas as an assistant GM signals a significant change of pace for an organization often described as staunchly anti-analytic. That’s certainly what fueled more than a few jokes on Twitter, at least:

Still, the biggest theme seems to be a willingness to hear new ideas and consider other outlooks from Dubas and the Maple Leafs organization overall:

Maple Leafs executive Brendan Shanahan backed that much up during a press conference, including this quote transcribed by NHL.com:

“Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years,” Shanahan said. “He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come.”

Actually, this is the real Shanahan money quote:

Could this front office change ruffle a few old-school feathers? Time will tell, yet it’s something that at least a few people are pondering.

Then again, to some, this move seems to bridge the gap between stats-minded and more “mainstream” approaches:

Indeed, some of the excitement comes from the notion that he’s not “just a stats guy.” That’s something the 28-year-old executive points out himself.

Is it too much to read into the signing of David Booth as the first sign of Dubas’ influence? Probably, but for the many Maple Leafs fans who have been frustrated about this team’s direction, it wasn’t exactly a discouraging development, either.

Here’s the press conference with Dubas and Shanahan:

  1. lowenni - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Definitely taking a page out of Moneyball and Billy Beane, but I actually think this is a great hire. From what I’ve been hearing it sounds like Dubas has a really great and fresh mind for the game and he can help out with some areas (possession, shot differentials) that Toronto has really struggled with. While there is definitely more to the game than stats and analytics–an analysis of a players performance by the eye is still the most important thing IMO–I’m really interested to see how this hiring works out.

  2. rje49 - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Well, let’s put it this way; whatever system the Leafs have been using for the past 47 years hasn’t worked. Go for it.

  3. blomfeld - Jul 22, 2014 at 10:14 PM

    GOOD MOVE TORONTO !!!

    LOL !!! :) :) :)

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:23 AM

      Blom, when the Leafs seamed competitive early in the season, their seriously bad analytics for told that it was unsustainable.

      So apparantly you are quite willing to discredit what you don’t understand.

  4. bricevjohnson - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Moneypuck.

  5. sportsfan18 - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    stats are where it’s at.

    folks who disagree are missing out.

    think casino’s don’t know and understand stats? uh, the house IS going to win more than they lose.

    they SET things, like how often slots pay out based on stats.

    USE stats folks, they HELP you.

    do they guarantee every decision will work out? Nope. but you’ll get MORE right than not with them.

    stats, odds matter.

    I’d be mad if I was a fan of team and they did not utilize them.

  6. garybrian - Jul 23, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    It’s a new start in a different direction. Something the Leafs haven’t tried lately. Now, if they could only bring in a new coach with fresh new ideas!

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