I took a look at Dave Nonis’ GM’ing history before the off season started. Since the summer has come to a crawl I thought it would be a good time to look back on it.
The first thing that leaps out at me — and I’ve been thinking about this for awhile — is that Nonis was handcuffed due to limited cap space for most of his time in Vancouver. And yet this time around he was gifted cap space, he gave it away, and still has two key cogs to resign. I’m just shocked he’s put himself in that same position again. I guess Nonis is comfortable working right up against the cap.
Another thing I noted was Jovanovski being allowed to leave as a UFA at 30, with the obvious parallel of Phaneuf potentially becoming a UFA at 29. It really didn’t surprise me to hear Phaneuf’s name thrown around in the trade market. I don’t know what kind of return he was looking for, but if getting a good player or two under 25 years old was possible as opposed to paying Phaneuf handsomely in his early-to-mid 30s, it’s likely Nonis would at least consider it.
It was also noteworthy that Vancouver wasn’t big on enforcers during Nonis’ time there, so that makes it pretty clear that Carlyle has a significant say on final roster decisions in Toronto.
While with the Canucks, Nonis identified the core of Kesler, Burrows, the Sedins, Bieska, etc. and stuck with them. While the Leafs have gotten rid of a few good players, Kessel, JVR, Lupul, Gardiner and Kadri (I’m not worried about him being re-signed at all) are all still apart of the team.
Furthermore, Nonis also threw a good chunk of coin at Willie Mitchell to join their core in Vancouver. Although I didn’t feel confident enough to say it in the blog because I didn’t want to rumour monger at the time, I always sort of thought Nonis would view Clarkson similar to the way he viewed Mitchell, as a hometown boy (Mitchell is a BC native) who plays a rugged style of hockey and bangs bodies. It’s obviously not a perfect parallel, but I see the similarities.
I also noted he’d look for a shutdown center, and obviously he did get one by bringing in Dave Bolland. It’s really too bad Komarov bolted for Russia, though.
A few other things that struck me were Burrows starting his career on the fourth line and working his way up, because it sounds like Colborne will have to follow the same path should he reach his potential. While the jury is still out on whether the Bernier trade was worth it, Nonis experienced having bad goaltending in Vancouver and quickly acted to bring in Luongo to end that (not to mention all the horrendous goaltending he’s had to endure while with the Leafs). While the Leafs actually got great goaltending last year statistically, I still maintain that Reimer is a serious injury risk. With Bernier in the fold, even just as insurance, I expect the Leafs receive at least top 15 goaltending this season.
Moreover, the very first thing I noted was that Nonis has probably changed since his time in Vancouver, and boy has he ever. Known for being too patient as a Canuck, Nonis struck fast with the Leafs and the team will look noticeably different next season. They have a new goalie, two new forwards, Colborne should be with the Leafs full-time unless he’s dreadful in camp, Ranger has been added to the defense, and Gardiner should play the full season this year, too. It’s a pretty different group which is mildly surprising considering they had some success last season.
In Vancouver, Nonis was questioned for his decisions on Kesler, the Sedins, the Mitchell contract, letting Jovanovski go, letting Carter go and so on, and he ended up looking good often than not. Hopefully that will prove to be the case with his asset management in Toronto.
Wednesday Morning Links…
Jake Gardiner breakout season around the corner?
Gardiner stepping up and pushing Gunnarsson off of the top pairing would be massive for the Leafs.
Maple Leafs & Nazem Kadri in holding pattern over new contract
Expect media outlets to make a big deal about Kadri not being signed until he’s signed. I for one am not worried about him. It’s the Franson situation that concerns me.
Ontario boys are back on the Leaf roster after period of absence
If you care about the Leafs having Ontario born players, they do now.
Kessel’s brother joins in Leafs skate
I really hope there aren’t Leafs fans who actually still question/dislike Kessel.
Kadri doing extra work on skating
Some stuff here on Kadri and Brennan, but the sad part was the blurb on Kulemin being all alone. One of my favourite Leafs without question.
Oiler trade happens only if RNH proves to be a very good 1C and is in top 15 in points by deadline.
This is the trade of the year this year.
Reimer, Phaneuf and bozak to the oilers for RNH at deadline this year. Both teams go on to meet in cup final 2015.
Morning Folks . If you like to gamble this might interest you. As a Leafs fan it might interest you as well lol
In regards to cap space ... no sense having cap space if you are not going to use it. The Leafs had space and then Nonis went out and signed possibily the most sought after FA in this year's crop.
Just looking at the possible defenceman for Team Canada and am noticing quite the trend.
Other than Duncan Keith, all the elite Canadian defencemen are right-handed shots.
Those defencemen include Weber, Doughty, Letang, Pietrangelo, Seabrook, Green, Boyle and Subban.
With that being said, I think Phaneuf has a pretty good shot of making the team.
The article about Kessel by Lance Hornsby is further evidence why I hate the Fucking media so Fucking much I wanna just Fucking kill all them son-of-a-fucking bitches. Where is the Kessel hate eminating from??? not on this blog.!!!!!!!!! The kessel hate has been mostly ALL media driven propaganda and now the the nerve of the Fucking media to suggest the kessel hate has been fan motivated. FUCK the media and their neural liguistic programming BULLSHIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Media are fucking scum and can go Fuck themselves in the ear.!!!!!!!!!!! It'll be a cold day in Hell before I ever let the media guide my way of thinking , those fascist motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I first started coming here way back in the sites first days...I think it was a word press format...went by B.Leaf handle.
Any other guys here from back then...I think it was August 2007...does that sound right...just going from memory, maybe it was before that.
Three short thoughts on re-watching last year's 1st round Game Six between Leafs and Bruins:
Re: Phaneuf. Wasn't as bad as I remembered. He defiinitely has some great strengths as a player. Problem is, the minuses tend to cancel out the plusses, leaving the final result little better than average.
Re: Kessel. Whatever he wants, pay him! Best skater and most dynamic scoring threat on the ice by far.
Re: Grabbo. Didn't score, but his ability to carry the puck and make moves around the opposition at high speed was second only to Kessel's. Impossible to believe he couldn't eventually have evolved into a far more productive fit with Kessel than Bozak, given a real shot at it. Better backchecker than Bozak, too. We're going to miss him.
@Jordan29 I think one of the biggest differences is that bernier can handle the puck quite well. I am still a riemer fan however. But i think if bernier wins the #1 job then it could be riemer who gets traded, unfortunately.
@GeorgeCastanza LMAO "George is getting angry!!!!"
@GeorgeCastanza Can't fuck for virginity, can't fight for peace, just gotta accept the bored monkeys who got nothing to write about but their own mind manifested perspective of things, whether its based on a dream, or story that could draw the attention of a reader such as yourself, they clearly got the reaction they wanted lollll. We all love Phil, we're leaf fans, and we've had the privilege of watching one of the best snipers in the game dawn a Leaf jersey, just because some scum lazy bastard chillin at his computer can think of an alternative view, doesn't mean we should care =).
Well, he did post something on Eddie Lack's twitter about not getting any ideas, lol.
@B_Leaf I started back when there were rumours Kessel was coming to Toronto. I wanted to know more so I googled Kessel rumours. the first site it took me too was Hockey Buzz, I farted around on there for about 10 minutes before I realized it was crap. The second link was MLHS and I never looked back. Never been to Hockey Buzz since either.
@B_Leaf I think I've been around since 2010? early 2011? not quite sure, but it seems like a hella long time already.
I joined just after the 2008 entry draft and my username was Schenn, hence the JVR name with the Schenn jersey as my profile picture.
@B_Leaf Lots of guys, I think.
Yup, this place sure has grown and is definitely the best Leafs site on the web now!
@Gilbey93 Now there are times when you can get that and more in as many seconds.
@Mattmark Its painful for me still. I agree with Grabo and I hated his contract. I wish he were still here WITH Bozak at about the 4 mil mark. We would be deep in centre.
Doubt that would fit money wise though
@Mattmark Still too soon to re-watch that series for me.
I think Bolland will more than replace Grabbo, however I know what you mean. Grabbo and Bolland would have been better than Bozak and Bolland, but then we'd have $1.3 million less to sign Kadri and Franson right now.
@Mattmark I have watched the whole series over and over, I cant believe how good Reimer was yet he was firing out rebounds all over the place, no wonder the leafs got outshot all year, he would just kick it out for another 2 or 3 opportunities 3 times a period.
I think Bernier takes over the #1 spot and never gives it back.
@-Keon- Alan Able, Milt Dunnel,last of the great newspaper writers.
I'm with you man and think that trade was completely unnecessary.
Scrivens was just fine when he was thrust into action while Reimer was injured and James proved himself in the playoffs.
It sure would be nice to have Frattin around to play on the third line with Bolland & Kulemin.
Also, the extra couple million we would have saved by going with Scrivens instead of Bernier would have looked real good right now, while trying to get Kadri and Franson resigned.
Still secondary to stopping pucks.
If Bernier can do that and maintain a better W/L and SV% than Reimer, all the power to him. Not going to say the ability to handle the puck makes Bernier a better goalie at this stage though.
@daveybolland@Komas Taberle@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan@B_Leaf@MattmarkIf you want to see awful rebound control, it's here. Just a simple puck catch and the plays are dead, instead, they are a kept alive and 2nd chances and 3rd chances get everyone scrambling.
Also, listen to Dion at 1:49 "Leave it, leave it!". How many times did you hear him yell that this series and this season? They just can't trust him to handle the puck with any confidence or ability.
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan @B_Leaf @Komas Taberle @Mattmark I'm in Reimer's camp still. Actually a little peeved so many were quick to flock away from the guy after we were all singing his praises when he was huge for us down the stretch. Remember those wins late in the season where we got outshot 2:1? Remember when he stole game 5?
So quick to jump ship on the guy in favour of the shiny new toy.
Bill Ranford on Jonathan Bernier (June 24th, 2013 Blue Lunch):
What are the Leafs getting with Bernier?
A quality individual, a great guy—works hard on and off the ice and just a quality person. I can't say enough the young man. I've known him since he was 17. It's been a pleasure to work with him.
Talk about his skill set. Technically, how good is he?
is very low maintenance or work with him. He's really honed his skills.
His technical package is very strong. Just little tweaks you have to
make here and there throughout the season.
What is it about his game, that leads you to believe he can be a top-notch, quality starter for the Leafs?
Hes got a real calm demeanor about his game and when he's on, his rebound control is really good, and he makes the game look easy...
...his puck handling is at a real elite level.
Are their weaknesses to his game or something the needs to adapt to to become a starter?
I don't think so. If he did struggle sometimes, it would be with his depth (in the crease). He's not a 6'5-6'6 goalie, he's around the 5'11-6ft range, but he plays big. Other than, there's not a whole lot. He handles traffic very well, his rebound control, when he's on, is very good. Has a swagger when he's on his game.
How is he going to handle the media here?
He'll be fine with it. He has a real good personality...
I'm going to download some of these games — wins and losses — and have a good look at him. That's a lot of wins. Wow.
@daveybolland @Komas Taberle @Mattmark He actually played when Quick was injured and played fantastic, Lombardi said they would not have made the playoffs without his great goaltending and Quick said that Bernier was just as good as him, just needed the starts to ramp up. He is going to surprise a lot of our fans and better yet, a lot of our opponents.
@daveybolland @Komas Taberle @Mattmark Not all his games but i did catch 5 or 6 and the puck sticks to his pads, he has excellent rebound control, great going post to post, terrific understanding of goaltending skills and handles the puck better than any goalie in the East err Atlantic, he will be a star, excellent trade by Nonis!