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Kyle Dubas' biggest blunder as Leafs GM leads to team losing one of the league's most efficient goal scorers for nothing

Published August 20, 2023 at 9:56
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

When the Seattle expansion draft was approaching, the Leafs and former GM Kyle Dubas acquired Jared McCann from Pittsburgh, as the Pens were afraid of losing the former 1st round pick for nothing. The trade was thought to be a safety measure in case Seattle selected Alexander Kerfoot. Unfortunately, that was not the case as the Leafs traded for McCann to then expose him to Seattle anyway in an attempt to keep one of him or Kerfoot. Naturally, the Kraken knew what the rest of us did at the time, which was that McCann was already vastly better than Kerfoot. They would use their expansion draft selection to pluck the Stratford, ON native from the Leafs.

Kerfoot didn't have a bad season following the expansion draft, posting a career-best 51 points that year. This past season, however, he registered just 32 points in 82 games and, at one point, had scored 1 goal in 26 games. McCann, on the other hand, had 50 points following his selection by the Kraken and followed up that performance by scoring 40 goals and 70 points this past season.

Was it a flash in the pan? Maybe, but, McCann had the highest goals per 60 minutes this past season at 1.85, beating out the likes of Connor McDavid and David Pastrnak. Not only that, but McCann signed a 5-year extension with Seattle prior to last season with an AAV of $5M per season.

As we all well know, the Leafs ended up losing Alex Kerfoot this summer as well, allowing him to walk for nothing as a UFA. Kerfoot signed a 2-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes as a free agent, which will see him continue to earn the same $3.5M cap hit that he owned in Toronto.


This has to be one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, blunders of Kyle Dubas' career. It just seemed so obvious to everyone that Jared McCann was the superior player. For the Leafs to have acquired him and then allowed him to slip through their fingers the way that he did... there's no question that this was one of the more puzzling decisions of Dubas' tenure as GM of the Leafs.

POLL
August 20   |   769 answers
Kyle Dubas' biggest blunder as Leafs GM leads to team losing one of the league's most efficient goal scorers for nothing

Was the Jared McCann expansion draft blunder the worst of Kyle Dubas' career?

Yes24331.6 %
The Matt Murray trade has to be up there32141.7 %
Letting Hyman walk is #115820.5 %
Other476.1 %
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