Toronto Maple Leafs general manager, Dave Nonis, has admitted that the franchise is ready to make a few waves during the off-season in a bid to assemble a squad that will be a real force next season.
As the Boston Bruins continue their playoff run, Nonis will be well aware that it really could/should be Toronto looking to challenge for the Stanley Cup instead. If it had not had been for a spectacularly blown three-goal lead in the third period of the crucial Game 7 against the Bruins, the Leafs would have pulled off the shock victory and progressed.
As it is though, Nonis must strengthen a squad still reeling from a dramatic season climax. With NHL betting pundits linking the Leafs with players in nearly every position, Nonis has admitted Toronto will not be shy this off-season when it comes to trading players.
“My position hasn’t changed. We’re going to look to upgrade at every position. That doesn’t mean that we are unhappy with the people we have at centre at wing or in net, but I think it’s incumbent upon every team to look at what’s available,” admitted the Leafs’ general manager.
“We’ve talked about a number of players that are available in free agency that we think could help us. How our team looks after the draft will (determine the direction). The trade talks are heating up now, it’s just finding pieces that fit.”
Likely to be top of Nonis’ list will be Los Angeles Kings goaltender, Jonathan Bernier, who has been linked with a move to Toronto.
But that will just be the beginning of Nonis’ work this off-season. Strengthening nearly every area of the squad will be required if the Leafs are to shed their long odds for the Stanley Cup (Toronto are a 30/1 bet on NHL in the early season betting), and avoid the disappointment they have been forced to endure for so long now.