They say behind every successful man there is a woman, well in this scenario behind every successful GM there is his Senior VP and Director of Hockey Operations (yikes that was weird). Well what I am trying to say is that Dave Nonis has really been influential in this whole ”Rebuilding” process starting from the draft all the way to the signing of Joey Macdonald. Brian Burke has really picked a gem in this guy to carry around with him wherever he goes, in fact I wouldn’t mind Nonis as our GM instead of Burke,I feel he’s that good.
Brian Burke has gotten all the praise from the media because he’s upfront and honest with what he says. Dave Nonis is not like that in fact he’s probably the exact opposite of Burke and in a hockey hotbed like Toronto it’s sometimes smart to have opposite personalities in crunch situations. I am sure Nonis pulled Burke out of some big trades because of the long term affects financially and on the ice that perhaps Burke missed. Nonis is not given enough praise for his excellent eye for talent and his unbelievable ability to sign players for bargain contracts. While Burke was in Sweden handling the Gustavvson issue (for which he deserves full credit) Nonis handled the free agency and the amount of trust Burke has in this man shows his credentials as a top hockey man. Dave Nonis signed Komisarek to a fantastic contract, he inked up Orr quickly and got that out of the way and then I am sure later on he had a hand in Beauchemin’s contract as well. The interesting part of Nonis’ work is that he knows the ins and outs of the contractual part of the game and that’s an excellent quality to have as a management personnel because many general managers are tricked by little things here and there that agents do to get their players the better deal.
The Roberto Luongo trade is known by everyone as a masterclass robbery and we can’t expect him to get those type of deals done with Burke because all the other GMs certainly wouldn’t want to get fleeced like Florida did. The patience of Dave Nonis is what sucks other general managers into making poor decisions and it seems he’s passed on this trait to Brian Burke, with patience you reduce the chance of getting fleeced big time.
If you look at the most recent move of signing Joey Macdonald it seems quite obvious that Nonis was the one who recommended this goalie because in his interviews he seemed to know a whole lot about this kid. Perhaps Macdonald will turn out to be an average goalie but there is an equal chance of him becoming a stunning goalie for the Marlies and an excellent replacement if an injury occurs.
Praise is something Leafs management aren’t used to but for a guy like Nonis no matter how much you praise him it’s not enough. We all hope Nonis and his calm demeanour take the Leafs all the way one day, but we know Burke will be needed as well to solve this puzzle.