Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas faced the music on Thursday after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Bruins, and did not fully commit to Mike Babcock – or to anyone else – going forward.
“I wouldn’t give any guarantee to anybody in our whole organization, starting with me,” Dubas replied when asked about Babcock’s job security at his end-of-year press conference, via Sportsnet. “We’ll do what we think is best and we’ll let you know when we know.”
Dubas prefaced his non-guarantee of Babcock’s job security by saying team president Brendan Shanahan must first evaluate his work as the general manager.
“The way I look at that is (Shanahan) has to decide on me first, and do an evaluation on me,” Dubas said. “And once that’s done we evaluate everybody.”
Babcock, who has four seasons remaining on his eight-year, $50-million deal, insisted earlier that his relationship with Dubas is “really good,” according to TSN’s Kristen Shilton.
On Thursday, Dubas also took responsibility for the William Nylander contract saga during the season and for the Maple Leafs’ poor penalty kill in the playoffs.
“The blame for the (Nylander) situation going that far has to go to me,” Dubas said. “I don’t think it set William up to have a good season, and I accept that.”
The 33-year-old Dubas added that he’s hoping for better things next season after another first-round playoff exit.
“I know that I have to do a better job, continue to improve and help our players,” he said. “And hopefully we meet under a different set of circumstances in about 13 months from now, or more, we hope.”
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