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Shanahan: Calculus on Dubas changed after Monday media conference

Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan - The Canadian Press

Brendan Shanahan says that Kyle Dubas was receptive to overtures to return as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and a new contract was prepared, but things changed after Dubas's media conference on Monday.

It was then, Shanahan says, that he considered that Dubas might no longer want to continue on with the team.

The Toronto Maple Leafs president addressed the media on Friday afternoon, hours after the club announced that Dubas would not return as general manager following five years in the role.

"There are a lot of people shocked and saddened today," Shanahan admitted.

Shanahan says that Dubas told the team that he intended to sign a new deal with the team and engaged in talks with his agent. Out of respect to Dubas, Shanahan says, the talks weren't made public.

"It's hard on our families," Shanahan said of the discussions and the nature of the hockey business.

Shanahan says that a final offer was ready for Dubas and he told him as much on the same night that the team was eliminated from the playoffs by the Florida Panthers on May 12. Shanahan says a framework was presented to him the following day.

Shanahan says that he believed Dubas was receptive to the framework and suggested that he shouldn't speak to the media until the deal was finalized, but Dubas wanted to have a season-ending press conference.

It was after his emotional press conference on Monday that Shanahan realized that Dubas's stance on a new deal might have changed.

"I think at that point there was a dramatic shift in my thinking," Shanahan said. "He might not want to be our GM and I have to take that seriously."

Later in the week, Dubas's agent presented the team with new numbers and Dubas told Shanahan in an email that he intended to return. Shanahan says after much thinking, he informed Dubas that he would not be returning earlier on Friday.

Shanahan insists that the breakdown was not the result of a gap in compensation expectations from both sides.

"After the press conference on Monday, I was less sure...I hadn't ruled Kyle Dubas out, but I had to make sure of other options, as well," Shanahan said.

Shanahan says he doesn't begrudge Dubas for speaking publicly and understands his familial concerns.

As for a successor, Shanahan says previous experience is "an attractive quality" in potential candidates." In terms of a timeline, Shanahan says an appointment "needs to happen rather soon."

Shanahan, 54, has been president of the Leafs since 2014 when he left the NHL front office where he served as the league's senior vice president in charge of meting out discipline.

A native of Etobicoke, Ont., Shanahan won three Stanley Cups in his 21 seasons as a player with the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers. An eight-time All-Star, Shanahan represented Canada on a number of occasions and won gold at the 1991 Canada Cup, the 1994 IIHF World Hockey Championship and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.