Dave Nonis might want to think twice about accepting the General Manager position from the Toronto Maple Leafs Leafs. And the Toronto Maple Leafs might want to think twice about offering the General Manager position to Dave Nonis.
Nonis has had about three interviews now with Leafs brass, so all concerned is definitely interested. But if one were curious, one would ask, “why would Dave Nonis be an upgrade from John Ferguson Jr?”
Dave Nonis is fine, intelligent man. I was at a talk he gave a few years back in Powell River, and he came across as a genuine, smart, young up-and-comer in the hockey world. He even gave away a bunch of primo Canucks luxury box tickets to lucky people. I wasn’t one of them.
But Dave Nonis’ downfall in Vancouver was that he believed the team there was basically a contender, with only a few minor moves needed to complete the package. And because he believed that in Vancouver, he’ll lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to nowhere fast.
Nonis couldn’t see at all that the Sedin twins are not fabulous stars, but only good, solid, non-stars who will probably never become anything more than that. Guys like Luc Bourdon and Nolan Baumgartner haven’t panned out for him and became more Manitoba Moose than Vancouver Canucks.
He was a guy who seemed almost shy to make any kind of move at trade deadline. His biggest feat, landing Roberto Luongo, happened only because Mike Keenan in Florida didn’t like the all-star goalie and gambled on Todd Bertuzzi becoming a force with the Panthers, which he didn’t do, and Alex Ault doing a fine job between the pipes in place of Luongo, which he didn’t do either.
Nonis came out smelling like a rose for this trade, but indeed, he has never been the second coming of Sam Pollock. Now Sam Pollock! There’s a guy the Leafs could’ve used at some point over the years.
Nonis may have believed the Canucks were a contender, but newly-hired GM Mike Gillis doesn’t. And therein lies the difference between Nonis and the new guy.
So why would the Leafs want Nonis? After firing Ferguson, this would be a lateral move, not an upgrade.
TSN bigshot experts figure it’s a way to lure Brian Burke out of Anaheim. But for Chairman of the Board Larry Tanenbaum and President and CEO Richard Peddie, it could be better to get a less-than-crusty guy like Nonis or Ferguson, as it would be less a headache for them. Brian Burke or Scotty Bowman wouldn’t stand for the shit that would be hurled their way.
And anyway, are the Leafs about winning, or just about making large wheelbarrows full of money for all concerned, especially the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, the majority owners of the Leafs?
Nonis is a smart guy, so he probably already knows all this. But he wants to stay in hockey, and he’s out of work right now.
But if he was the top guy, he’d be fed to the lions in Toronto, which basically means his bosses, who like to play a hands-on role in Toronto.
He, like Ferguson before him, is too nice a guy for this job.
Canucks fans might cry foul at the criticism of their Canucks here, and I know what they’re going to say. Injuries, they’ll explain. The Canucks were decimated with injuries. Otherwise, they would’ve been a contender this year.
BC has always grown really good pot.