Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas made the team better when noone thought he could and Sheldon Keefe, in his first full 82-game season as a coach in the NHL, has made Toronto more reliable defensively and a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. However, neither is receiving any attention for the end of season awards.
OMAR: Is it weird that Keefe or Dubas haven't gotten any recognition for what they've been doing for this team like at all? Like, as far as awards go-- I mean, like, the Jack Adams for Keefe and the Jim Gregory or whatever it was called for GM of the year. It's odd, isn't it?
I mean, Dubas this last year put together a team that we thought was solid on paper. And we literally go into the offseason thinking, what else can he do? And he made the team better. Michael Bunting's sick. Ondrej Kase was sick. You know, David Kampf, who we did not know a thing about, has been awesome.
And then at the same time, you have Keefe, who has literally made the team play a more reliable game. And you can tell when the team is buying into the system and when they're not buying into the system. Because when they're buying in, they look great. And when they don't buy in, they look horrible.
So I think it's really interesting how neither have gotten any recognition when it come-- when it comes down to awards. The GM of the Year, that kind of makes sense because, like, the rest of the, you know, other GMs vote on that. And I don't think Kyle Dubas is the most popular GM amongst other GMs in the league.
But the Jack Adams, that one is weird. And it kind of goes into the bigger conversation, whereas the Jack Adams Award has just turned into a, hey, your team was supposed to be bad, so you're-- and it's not bad because of the coach, so here's your award thing. But, like, I really do think Keefe in particular should get some recognition here.
Now I'm not saying he should win the thing. And to be honest, I don't think he would. But I really do think that what Sheldon Keefe has done with this team and how Kyle Dubas is taking these new players onto this roster, the two of them have really created this, you know, monumental strong unit that I think has been giving a lot of these fans hope, despite the fact that we're trying to stay apathetic. And we're trying to be realistic. But I really do think that what they've been doing is, you know, a prime reason as to why we feel a lot-- a lot different about this team this year-- that and Auston Matthews.