Featured Story Rants

Dubas will dump Tavares to make Rielly captain

Written by Norris McDonald

Welcome back to Thought of the Day, which disappeared for a few months because I had many things to do. It’s back and I hope to keep it going daily.

Now, the golf course photo is not of Mitch Marner. It’s of my son, Cameron. My other son Duncan was busy losing his putter while trying to fish a ball out of a creek.

Now, Kyle Dubas has done it again. The Leafs’ GM, who doesn’t have a clue, has signed Morgan Rielly to a long-term contract. It is no secret that Rielly wants to be captain. So to afford Rielly and the other highly paid do-nothings on that team, and to make him captain (probably part of the deal),  he will have to dump John Tavares.  Tavares wasn’t supposed to be captain anyway. He was second choice after first choice Auston Matthews made a fool of himself and the team.

Pat Quinn was a competent GM and coach. The Leafs were always in the playoffs. Then, know-nothing John Ferguson Jr. came along and fired him and that was 17 (or so) years ago and the team has gone nowhere since. Mike Babcock had the team on track but there was a group in the dressing room who didn’t like him because he wanted them to play the game his way instead of theirs. (Babcock is one of the winningest coaches in NHL history; the Leafs haven’t  won the Stanley Cup since 1967. But those players knew better. Go figure.)

Brendan Shanahan, the Leafs president (another genius), didn’t rehire the greatest brain in the history of professional hockey, Lou Lamoriella, to run the team and went with Dubas, a.k.a. John Ferguson Jr. II, who knows about as much about hockey and economics as I do, which ain’t much. Then he fired Babcock, believing what Dubas told him, that Sheldon Keefe would identify more with young players than an older coach. This worked for less than two years.

There are empty seats at the Rogers Arena these days. This has never happened before and has nothing to do with COVID. The Raptors and the Blue Jays are Toronto’s teams now. The Leafs just aren’t important anymore.

Prediction: Shanahan and Dubas will be gone by Christmas.

Surprise prediction: new GM – Mike Babcock (if he isn’t coaching Florida by then); new Coach – John Tortorella; new Assistant Coaches – Sheldon Keefe and Doug Gilmour.

Big surprise: Marner and Matthews will be back wearing suits.