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Nonis expects plenty of trade activity this summer

May 16, 2013, 1:01 PM EDT

NonisDave AP

On Monday, the Maple Leafs were eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by the Bruins. But for Toronto general manager Dave Nonis, there’s not much time to dwell on the past.

Nonis believes there’s going to be a flurry of trades this offseason as teams adjust to a lower salary cap. He also believes the Leafs, who don’t necessarily need to shed salary, may be in a position to take advantage of other clubs’ problems.

As for certain key Leafs players…

James Reimer

“At this point, I would say he’d be back as a No. 1,” said Nonis, adding that goaltending wasn’t a weakness for Toronto this season. Reimer finished the playoffs with a .923 save percentage. The Leafs, of course, were reportedly in talks to acquire Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff at the trade deadline.

Phil Kessel

The 25-year-old winger has one year remaining on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Nonis heaped praise on his top sniper, but also said there’s no “urgency” to get an extension done.

Tyler Bozak

Kessel’s linemate can become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, and Nonis didn’t sound so sure about getting an extension done: “The numbers have to make sense.” Given the dearth of free-agent centers, Bozak could be looking at a big payday. But maybe not from the Leafs.

Dion Phaneuf

Like Kessel, the Leafs’ captain has one year left on his contract before he’s free to sign anywhere. Phaneuf came under fire during the Boston series after his Game 4 pinch led to the Bruins’ winning goal in overtime. Nonis said today that no Leafs were “untouchable,” and with younger, cheaper blue-liners like Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, and Carl Gunnarsson, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if Phaneuf was quietly shopped this summer.

  1. imleftcoast - May 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    They don’t call him Nonuts for nothing. I wouldn’t expect a lot of action, and he’s not going to trade Phaneuf. I hope Leaf fans take a trip out of town this summer, and try to get the tiniest bit of perspective. Those young guys on the blue line are great, but you need your captain to anchor them for a couple years. Salo was important to the Canucks.

  2. windmiller4 - May 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Phaneuf and a low pick for Lou and Roy? Helps Toronto by getting a good center and a elite (depending on your view) goalie, Vancouver gets rid of Lou and his contract, Roy didn’t really fit in so he probably wouldn’t be that big of a loss, and Phanuef would benefit from a change of scenery. Maybe if the Leafs throw in a little bit more they could get Ballard in the deal too. Just spitballing some thoughts here, any opinions on it?

    • elvispocomo - May 16, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      As much as we’ll be moving Luongo, I’m pretty sure we don’t want Phaneuf back. No thanks.

    • kaptaanamerica - May 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      No one in Vancouver wants Phaneuf. Heard Iggy punched him in the face and then Iggy demanded CGY management trade the guy. you have to wonder what he did to deserve that… Canucks fans have seen enough of this guy to know he’s useless to us. he’d be a 6th or 7th dman on the canucks behind hamhuis, bieksa, garrison, edler, tanev…

      Roy is a free agent. leafs could use luongo though. reimer was in over his head in the first few games and looked shaky on the choke fest in game 7 against the bruins as well.

      Nonis was a fool for not getting a veteran presence for this team when it looked like they’d make the playoffs. A veteran could have calmed the team down during the choke.

      Next year they won’t make the playoffs again as NJ and PHI will be in. Western conference teams are going to eat up the leafs next season and then sh*t them out.

    • withseidelinn - May 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      I don’t think the Leafs are in the market for a goalie anymore. In my opinion Reimer really proved himself in the playoffs this year. (It was only 1 round but his play was stellar, and he was very strong in the season). I hope they resign Bozak, but if some sort of deal with Roy could be worked out I think they may go for it.

      • windmiller4 - May 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        True about Reimer, i do believe he could end up being the answer TO has been looking for in net. Then again, remember Jim Carrey, Andrew Raycroft, Steve Mason (although i really hope he can turn it around in Philly), and some people may even say Fluery (I wouldn’t quite yet, but he has a lot to prove after the last couple of playoffs). At very least they need a veteran backup for Reimer, in case he does falter or is injured. Lou wouldn’t be a backup, but having him split with Reimer for a year or two could be a good idea. Ideally TO would get a guy like Nabokov or Backstrom, with the latter being a good possibility of hitting the FA market. No matter what they do this is a huge offseason for Toronto’s future.

      • windmiller4 - May 16, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        No idea why that double posted. Stupid smart phones

    • desertfan - May 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Nucks do not need more D-Men.

      They need 2 top 9 forwards- big young and strong!!!

  3. sens101 - May 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Lol…Calling nonis nonuts? he pulled a pretty big deal in landing Luongo from Florida…though that deal was so one sided at the time it was a pretty easy trade for him to make.

    windmiller4….I think that’s a little unreaslistic. Roy is a free agent and would basically be a throw in….they could prob get him for free on July 5.

    Phaneuf is greatly overpaid and one year away from free agency. While i think he can still be an above-average defenseman if he works on his defensive zone play, that move gives Vancouver absolutely no cap releif. I think a possible destination might be edmonton? phaneuf and a 3rd for Sam Gagner?

    • windmiller4 - May 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Quit Possible, the leafs main goal this summer should be a veteran presence in net. Whether trade or free agency, it needs to be addressed. Guys like Nabokov or Backstrom could be up for FA, But they should be taking a serious look at guys like Loungo, Halak, even Fasth in Anaheim. Halak could be a great fit, but a trade their would be difficult to work out as STL would be looking for offense, which TOR doesn’t have much of to offer. Fasth could be good, but he is unproved so i’d be cautious about trading for him. Leaving Loungo. The Canucks were soft in their first round exit this year, and Phaneuf could provide a little snarl to the blueline. It would solve their goaltending issue, which needs to be addressed, and most of all i think if the Canucks want to stay relevant they need to get new blood or they will keep on losing in the playoffs, which with the decline in production of the sedins could translate to the regular season sooner than some might think. I may be wrong (probably am) but seems like an interesting option to explore, and an even more fun one to think about.

      • elvispocomo - May 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        I doubt they look to get any vet goalie (aka Luongo) via trade this summer. Nonis has made his decision to stick with Reimer as a starter and may look for a UFA backup, but won’t give up assets to get one. Besides, the Luongo to Toronto trade ship has sailed after Nonis’ rumoured treatment of the Canucks offers at the deadline.

  4. sens101 - May 16, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    yeah for sure. I just dont see Gillis doing it because he is liability defensively at times and because they are over next years cap and phaneufs hit is greater than luongos. I think Reimer deserves to be the #1 and i dont think goaltending is an issue. Giving up assets to get a goalie who may or may not pan out, whether veteran or not, is not a good idea…how about get nabakov from free agency if you want a veteran back up?

    I think Toronto needs more gritty players that can actually play as well. David Clarkson for example…Having Fraser McLaren and Colton Orr is great for toughness….but they can’t play as well as guys like neil, prust, clutterbuck etc and they are basically passengers on the bench for long stretches.

  5. 19to77 - May 16, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Biggest thing Toronto needs to worry about is defensive depth. The young defenders will continue to improve, but if they’re keeping Phaneuf, they NEED to dial back his minutes – and if they’re not, they need to replace a 25+ min defenseman outright, which is a big hole. Amongst UFAs, Clitsome and Lovejoy seem like they’d be realistic targets. Effective in their own zone, good for rounding out depth and easing minutes up on the top guys.

    • 19to77 - May 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Either way, if they deal Phaneuf, they’ll need some defense coming back their way to help mitigate the loss of all those minutes. He doesn’t look great as a top D, by any stretch, but that doesn’t change the fact that he still IS – they’d need to fill the hole he leaves with more than just the guys they have already.

  6. kaptaanamerica - May 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Nonis needs to be held accountable for his inaction at the deadline to set the team up for success in this playoffs.

    A veteran goalie (luongo) and some veterans up front would have kept the team focused and not let an opportunity like that slip away. Playoff success is never guaranteed and you have to go for it every chance you get. There are only so many tries any group will get as a unit.

    Phaneuf will never go to Vancity. Management knows all about him, just ask Cgy fans. bozak and a dman will get luongo. But I say he goes to the islanders, caps, or flyers (outside shot at buffalo)…

    • kaptaanamerica - May 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      luongo will go to one of those teams (not phaneuf)

  7. chicagohawksfan66 - May 16, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Reimer is fine no need for lou as the contract is to long. just need a vet not interested in anything more than being a back up. now about the center position. ..

  8. yanmontreal - May 16, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Toronto ,you are more loser than loser…your a shame for Canada..

    Go habs go

  9. borderline1988 - May 19, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    The goalie situation is fine. Reimer was consistent all year. He needs to work on some fundamentals (he goes down way too fast) but he’s a legit #1. I don’t see the need to waste assets or cap space on a goalie. They should only sign a veterean goalie to backup Reimer if he’s relatively cheap.

    The Leafs absolutely need better centres. They lost almost 70% of the faceoffs against Boston…it’s a miracle that series even went to a game 7. I wouldn’t get rid of Bozak…he’s the best they have – so why let him go? Unless he’d demanding way too much.
    The centre position is the only one that the Leafs should over-pay for (either in FA or in a trade). David Clarkson and Derek Roy look like good options. Just go out and get them Nonis!!

    Phaneuf is over-paid, but the Leafs need him. He’s the only legitimate 2-way first line defenceman. There’s no hurry to let him go…Leafs might as well keep him for now and see how things are shaping up near the trade deadline.
    The Leafs have a lot of defensive depth, but very few ready top-4 guys. Although they have some guys coming through the pipeline, so they can afford to sit back and wait a bit.

    Lastly, the Leafs should upgrade their 4th line guys. I never understood the idea that 4th line guys should be tough guys…the 4th liners this year did absolutely nothing for the Leafs.

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