Former Leaf explodes for 6-point game, having a career year; Is this Dubas' biggest mistake?

Published January 31, 2022 at 9:38 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
Buckle up, Leafs fans. The next 24 hours (at least) are going to be pretty chaotic. Before we get started here, I just want to preface this by stating that Kyle Dubas is a very good GM. With that said, Dubas may have made a terrible, terrible mistake.

We're just shy of the two-year mark since Dubas completed a trade with the Florida Panthers, sending undrafted forward Mason Marchment to the Sunshine State in exchange for diminutive forward Denis Malgin. Well, here comes some of that revisionist history that has become so popular. It's a trade that Dubas never should have made.

At the time, the Leafs' GM believed that he was making a smart move, acquiring a younger, more experienced player with a higher ceiling - and at the time, it may have been the right thing to do. However, it's time for Dubas to take his lumps.

Marchment is a 6'4, 210-pound left winger, a second generation NHLer, and he happens to have a mean streak to him that will definitely come in handy for the Panthers come playoff time. To Dubas' credit, at the time of the trade, Marchment was viewed by many as a player who was not likely to amount to much more than a career AHLer who could fill in at the NHL level when called upon. Now, he's looking like much more than that and, quite frankly, the Leafs could use a player like that right now. What's worse is that he makes just $800,000 this season.


Here's why the chaos is coming. Mason Marchment recorded 6 points tonight in an 8-4 Florida Panthers victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. That raises him above the point-per-game mark this season, with 23 points in 21 games and well above the 10 points that he registered in 33 games for the Cats last season. There are a lot of Dubas detractors in Leafs Nation, and this move will certainly generate a lot of discussion after Marchment's breakout performance, which tied Olli Jokinen for the franchise record.

Granted, no General Manager in NHL history was psychic, but this one seems like a pretty big miss - possibly the biggest miss of the Kyle Dubas era. I shutter to think of what life will be like for Leafs fans if the Panthers win a Stanley Cup this season if Marchment plays a pivotal role in that.

In an attempt to throw some cold water on the subject here, I will also mention that Marchment could be the beneficiary of playing with two very higly skilled players and former first rounders in Sam Reinhart (2014) and Anton Lundell (2020). That line has combined for 15 points tonight.

There is nothing in Marchment's scoring history at any level to suggest that this type of production will continue, but if he remains on that line with Reinhart and Lundell, anything is possible.

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