Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, coach Sheldon Keefe safe despite another first-round exit

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said that general manager Kyle Dubas and coach Sheldon Keefe will return next season despite yet another first-round playoff exit for the team.

The Maple Leafs lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are chasing their third straight Stanley Cup. Toronto has failed to advance out of the first round in six straight postseasons, hasn’t won a playoff series since 2004 and is seeking its first Stanley Cup since 1967.

“We’re extremely disappointed. We’re not going to make any excuses. I thought our players battled hard, I thought that they played well, and they lost to a great hockey team,” Shanahan said. “Certainly, as we look forward to next year, there’s always going to be new faces. That being said, we will not be making changes just simply for the sake of saying that we made changes.”

Shanahan said that he looks forward to “getting to work with Kyle and Sheldon for next season.” Dubas was named Leafs general manager in May 2018. Keefe was hired as head coach during the 2019-20 season.

“I think that Kyle built a very good hockey team. I think he made excellent adjustments along the way, and I think Sheldon is an excellent coach,” Shanahan said. “As we look forward to next year, and getting to work towards next year, I think it’s important to state that I see both of them as being extremely important in getting us to the next level so that when we do approach next year, and we do come back, that we are ready to take that next step.”

Toronto finished second in the Atlantic Division with 115 points this season. Its .701 points percentage in the standings was the highest in franchise history.

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