Dave Nonis in the stands at the morning skate at the ACC. (Rene Johnston/ Toronto Star)
For the first time since 2006, the Maple Leafs stood pat on trade deadline day.
It was the right move.
On a day where pretty well every team around the Leafs got better, there wasn’t a whole lot out there that made sense for this team to do, in part because of cap constraints.
Neither buyers or sellers, with limited cap space, some expiring contracts they’re playing wait and see on and a market that favoured rental buys, it’s of little shock there was zero trade activity by the Toronto Maple Leafs today. Three of the Leafs’ Atlantic Division opponents (Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit), meanwhile, made additions to their lineup this afternoon.
The Leafs were known to be looking for a hockey trade, with salary in-salary out, in what was primarily a rental market. Said Nonis: ”We tried to make hockey deals to improve our team long term. In the end, [with what was available] we would’ve been making a trade, a splash, but we wouldn’t be getting better.”
Dave Nonis addressed the media after completing no moves (besides the call ups of Carter Ashton and Peter Holland) on NHL Trade Deadline Day.
Toronto Maple Leafs brass (left to right) VP of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin, Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle, Special Advisor Cliff Fletcher and new General Manager Dave Nonis during the dying seconds of the 3rd period of the NHL hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres on
January 21, 2013. The Leafs lost the game 2-1.
CARLOS OSORIO/TORONTO STAR
We unwrapped a vanload of presents on Trade Deadline Eve. What’s left for Deadline Day? Perhaps the biggest moves of all, which are likely to be the deals that move Ryan Kesler and Martin St. Louis out of Vancouver and Tampa Bay respectively.
Picture it: You’re at the gym for a game-day workout, visions of an afternoon nap dancing in your head, and suddenly Duthie’s beaming face (appearing in the flat screen mounted to the wall) is informing you that you, yes you, have been traded to the (sigh) Edmonton Oilers. As the blood rushes in your ears you sort of miss what the return is; and besides, you’re suddenly distracted by the onslaught of messages your iPhone is now receiving. Everybody and their cousin wants to know how you’re feeling about becoming an Oiler. Quick man, defuse those t-bombs! But what did you expect? It’s trade deadline time after all.
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 23: Benoit Pouliot #67 of the New York Rangers checks David Clarkson #71 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at Madison Square Garden on December 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
It’s not time to sound the alarm, but the sense of urgency is heightened across Toronto.
The Leafs are still firmly in a playoff spot and, other than Detroit (who has three games in hand on the Leafs, but are also missing Zetterberg and, for the moment, Datsyuk), the 4+ point gap the Leafs have on everyone else is a much tougher hill to climb than it looks because of the “three point era” in the NHL. It’s extremely tough to make up ground at this stage of the season in this day and age.
CHICAGO - OCTOBER 20: of the Chicago Blackhawks of the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center on October 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Canucks 2-1 in a shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
With tonight’s blockbuster between the Blues and Sabres cranking up the heat on trade speculation across the League (DOMINOES!!!), let’s take a quick look at one of the names being batted around the rumour mill as it pertains to the Maple Leafs.
Some Leafs news making the rounds last night as it pertains to Dave Bolland’s contract situation: Darren Dreger floated a five million dollar asking price on TSN’s Insider Trading.
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier leads the team in saluting the fans after defeating the Ottawa Senators in shoot out NHL action in Toronto on Saturday October 5, 2013. (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Thanks again for all the questions. My apologies if I didn’t get to yours.
Photo: Getty Images via NHL.com
Gold is Canada’s and the players are on flights back home. The NHL season starts up again on Tuesday with just nine days remaining until the March 5 NHL Trade Deadline. As the Toronto Maple Leafs push towards its second consecutive playoff berth, could Mason Raymond’s 16 goals and 19 assists in 60 games this season make him one of the hottest buys on deadline day?