Who knows what all will go on inside “the bubble.” The idea is to keep everyone else out and NHL players in, but there’s going to be a lot of talking, planning, and even likely some scouting.
Recent comments made by Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas suggest the bubble could actually present opportunities that might not normally present themselves.
According to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, Dubas says he’ll be “looking at various different free agents that might be available that are here and playing.” He writes, “Gives a unique opportunity for a GM to observe opposing players both on and off the ice.”
For the Maple Leafs, a team that needs to be wary of where they spend their money this offseason, finding good deals on free agents will be key. Perhaps as important, finding good people and leaders that will mesh well into what the Maple Leafs are building matters. What better way to see someone than in a confined space where teammates only have each other.
They say, if you ever want to know if you’re relationship is going to work, take trip together. If you aren’t sure if your marriage will last, try renovating a house. The idea behind these sayings is that the best (and worst) of people come out when there’s no choice but to stick together or finish what you’ve started. In a way, those relationships have to survive their own bubble. And, for NHL players, like it or not, once you’re in this bubble, you aren’t leaving unless you’ve been eliminated or don’t plan to return.
What Will Dubas Be Looking For?
How upbeat and motivating can one player be? How down and depressing will another get when things aren’t always going according to plan? Inside the bubble, some of that will rise to the surface and there aren’t a ton of places to blow off steam.
And, while Dubas may have said it out loud, he certainly won’t be the only GM or coach taking notes. 24 teams have been split into two bubble and two teams will be them for weeks. There should be lots of opportunity to learn what you like about someone, and what you don’t about someone else.
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