As an avid user of social media, I find it difficult to avoid memes about the television series called The Office. I am also a Leafs fan, so I thought it would be a fun exercise to see which members of the Leafs front office represent the characters on the show. The rest of this post contains spoilers of the entire series, so if you are in the midst of watching it for the first time I strongly recommend saving this post for later. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy.
Mark Hunter (Assistant General Manager) / Dwight Schrute (Assistant
to the Regional Manager)
The Dwight Schrute of the Leafs front office is Mark Hunter. Mark and Dwight often find themselves unable to pronounce certain sentences. Mark’s most unfortunate incident occurred at the 2017 NHL Draft, when he introduced Timothy Liljegren to Leafs Nation, saying “Tronna proud to announce, from Sweden, Timoth Liljegren.” Similarly, Dwight once got tripped up by the word “heed,” eventually saying “no one would take hedded of my instructions,” (Season 5, episode 13).
Like Dwight, Mark has been involved in the industry for many years. As an expert in his craft, Mark’s talent and dedication earned him a promotion to “Assistant General Manager.” No word yet on whether Mark also hides weaponry around the ACC.
The parallels extend beyond the workplace, as both Mark and Dwight share an affection for farming in their off time. While Dwight owns a beet farm with his family, Mark and Dale Hunter own a prospect farm called the London Knights. Mark also enjoys agricultural farming, as shown in the last sentence of his biography.
Quote: “How would I describe myself? Three words: hard-working, alpha male, jackhammer… merciless, insatiable…” (Season 3, Episode 13).
Kyle Dubas (Assistant General Manager) / Jim Halpert (Former Assistant Regional Manager)
If there’s anyone who could find where Mark Hunter hides his weapons, it’s Kyle Dubas. Preventing disasters is part of Kyle’s repertoire because he is personable and intelligent — a rare breed in an office infested with Hockey Men. Kyle is the voice of logic and reason, often coming to the rescue whenever the Hockey Men are about to make a nonsensical decision. He is known for his intelligence and his openness to new ideas.
His analytical insights and openness to new ideas sometimes contradict Mark’s old-school way of thinking, leading to debates in the office.
It also creates a rivalry that is perfectly suited for epic pranks. Kyle’s best practical joke was that time he faked a promotion to Colorado, leading Mark Hunter to believe he had become the clear frontrunner to take over for General Manager Lou Lamoriello one day. Mark saw himself as the successor to Lou Lamoriello, but Kyle’s promotion was fake news. Kyle never actually left, he just wanted to make Mark feel disappointed.
Outside the office, Kyle and Jim share a love of basketball, and they are both new fathers too. But geography doesn’t stop Kyle from pranking Mark every chance he gets…
Quote: “Before I left [on the Marlies road trip] I took a box of [Mark’s] stationary. So, from time to time, I send [Mark] faxes. From himself. From the future.” (Season 3, Episode 8)
Lou Lamoriello (General Manager) / Jo Bennett (Former CEO of Sabre)
This comparison might surprise some of you, so just hear me out for a moment. They actually seem to have similar backgrounds and work habits.
The first thing you notice about them is their accents, which suggest they are not locals. Indeed, Jo is from Tallahassee (where she was running Sabre) while Lou’s previous experience was in New Jersey with the Devils. And you know what Sabres and Devils have in common? That’s right – they are both teams in the NHL!
They are both workaholics who enforce strict rules; Should these rules be broken, neither of them are afraid to release the hounds.
Jo and Lou have a history of making strange promotions too. Jo promoted Daryl from the warehouse to a management position in season 6 episode 19, while Lou promoted Roman Polak from retirement into the Leafs lineup this season.
Quote: *Silent death stare*
Mike Babcock (Head Coach) / Michael Scott (Regional Manager)
Mike Babcock is not officially a member of the Leafs front office, but its members clearly value his input on roster decisions. This gives him influence beyond his qualifications. Similarly, Michael Scott somehow finds ways of impressing his boss, David Wallace. As a result, David creates opportunities for Michael that aren’t necessarily afforded to the other regional managers. Obviously, some of this is influenced by tenure.
With years of experience (and success) under his belt, Mike is considered the World’s Best Coach. Mike knows all there is to know about his job and how to manage the people who work under him. He even treats them like family, sometimes calling them just to chat after work hours (i.e. the offseason). When young players first start out under his supervision, Mike takes great pride in developing them into real gud pro’s.
Michael Scott’s hatred for Toby Flenderson is paralleled by Mike Babcock’s hatred for the camera crew from last year’s Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics series.
Unfortunately, Mike has a bad habit of forming strong emotional attachments to those who routinely display their inadequacy. In the same way that Michael Scott loves Ryan despite the fact he defrauded the company, Mike Babcock loves Roman Polak and Leo Komarov even though they defraud the Leafs of productive minutes.
Mike also makes judgements based on personal experience rather than evidence. Like Michael Scott, he sometimes distrusts science and technology. For example, Mike prefers Saskatchewan Science over the Leafs Sports Science department. Let’s just hope he knows how to use the GPS in his car…
Quote: “‘“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky’ – Michael Scott” – Mike Babcock
Brandon Pridham (Assistant to the General Manager) / Oscar Martinez (Accountant)
Before we get started with this one, I’d just like to point out that Brandon Pridham is jealous of Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter, for holding the superior title of Assistant General Manager.
Brandon Pridham is the Leafs salary cap guru, so he is a natural comparison to Oscar Martinez. As the people who understand how to optimize the financial resources of their organizations, Brandon and Oscar are viewed as geniuses by their colleagues. Consider, for instance, all the praise Brandon received after the Dion Phaneuf trade — a trade that alleviated a tremendous burden on the Leafs salary cap at minimal cost.
Just chatted w/someone who called capologist Brandon Pridham the Leafs MVP right now saying "I applaud Toronto."
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 24, 2016
Michael Scott has similar thoughts about Oscar. On his last day at the office (season 7 episode 22), Michael says that Oscar is the “scarecrow who gave me a brain.”
Like Oscar, Brandon has experience working under co-managers. Brandon was working for the Leafs after Dave Nonis was fired, when Dubas and Shanahan shared the GM duties before they hired Lou Lamoriello.
Quote: “Look it doesn’t take a genius to know that every organization thrives when it has two leaders. Go ahead, name a country that doesn’t have two presidents. A boat that sets sail without two captains. Where would Catholicism be, without the popes.” (Season 6, Episode 3).
The Computer Boys can quantify everything they see in the same way that Andy Bernard turns his daily experiences into songs. Andy has also been shunned by Dwight, and I imagine that the Computer Boys have been ignored on some occasions too.
- I’ll leave you with footage of Mike Babcock (Michael Scott) teaching Roman Polak (Kevin Malone) better eating habits: