The Toronto Maple Leafs shook up their head office Tuesday, letting go of two longtime executives and hiring Brock University alumnus Kyle Dubas as assistant general manager.
“The chance to work for the Toronto Maple Leafs is like a dream come true,” Dubas said in a release. “I’m truly excited to begin helping this team win and learn from men like (president) Brendan Shanahan and (general manager) Dave Nonis.
Dubas is the latest in a line of Sport Management grads who have found success after Brock. Andrew Tinnish (BRLS ‘99; BSM ‘01) holds the same assistant GM position with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Sport Management Associate Professor Craig Hyatt — who taught Dubas in his third year — called Dubas’ hiring a tremendous accomplishment for the department, which isn’t quite 20 years old.
“Our early alums are in the ranks of middle management,” Hyatt said. “(Dubas) and Tinnish are really the first wave of grads becoming upper management in some very big league organizations. It’s only a matter of time before all of our grads out there in five, 10 years in middle management positions are knocking on that door and getting through in professional and amateur sport industry upper management positions. It’s showing maturation of the program.”
Sport Management has continued to grow in popularity and has close to 600 undergrads and about 12 graduate students enrolled.
“It shows students there is hope that with a lot of dedication and hard work and paying your dues, you can make it as upper management in the Canadian sport industry,” Hyatt said.
During his time at Brock, Dubas was a scout for the Greyhounds, the team his grandfather coached to a championship in the 1960s, and at 20 he became the youngest-ever National Hockey League player agent.
His attention to modern analytics is a growing trend in the NHL, and it was one aspect that intrigued and impressed new Leafs president Shanahan.
“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.”
Dubas will work alongside veteran GM Dave Nonis, filling one of the positions that opened after the departure of Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle.
“We’re excited about the addition of an up-and-coming hockey executive in Kyle,” Nonis said. “He is an innovative thinker that will bring enthusiasm and impressive abilities to our club. His work ethic, character and demonstrated leadership in Sault Ste. Marie make for a valuable combination that will certainly have a positive impact on our organization in many ways.”