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Leafs GM Nonis gets 5-year contract extension

Jul 25, 2013, 2:58 PM EDT

NonisDave AP

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has been granted a five-year contract extension.

In what amounts to a strong vote of confidence from ownership, the extension comes less than a year after Nonis took over from Brian Burke, who was fired in January.

Under Nonis, the Leafs made the playoffs in the lockout-shortened 2013 season — their first postseason appearance since 2004 — but lost in the first round to the Boston Bruins (in heartbreaking fashion).

“Ownership and management felt it was critical to extend David now for a lengthy period of time and to reward him for the progression of the Leafs and Marlies,” said Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chief Tim Leiweke in a statement.

“This extension will allow David the time to build his kind of team to produce steady results, year after year. Everyone is excited about his ability and grasp of the NHL landscape and today’s new contract agreement will offer the Leafs consistency and a long-term vision.”

Nonis has been very active this summer, buying out Mikhail Grabovski and Mike Komisarek, acquiring Jonathan Bernier and Dave Bolland in trades, re-signing Tyler Bozak, and adding David Clarkson in free agency.

How those moves turn out remains to be seen, but clearly ownership feels Nonis on the right track.

“I’m very grateful to Tim Leiweke and our ownership group for this contract extension,” said Nonis in a statement. “Together with our hockey operations staff, we’ll continue to patiently put the building blocks in place which will lead us to future success.”

  1. thecheeman - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    5 years for Nonis? Was some other team looking to snag him?

    “Nonis got Clarkson for how much??? $5.25M a year? How does he do this magic?”

    • sunderlanding - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Edmonton was going to pay Clarkson 5.5, so it’s not that bad. If you want Clarkson that’s what you pay him.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:47 PM

        Just cause someone else was going to do something equally as stupid doesn’t make what you did right. “joe over there was going to jump off that 80 foot high bridge…what an idiot! Now hold my coat while I go perfect pike into the river from this 60 foot high bridge…”

      • sunderlanding - Jul 25, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        I don’t think paying 5 a year for a 25-30 goal scorer who can play both ways is stupid. Maybe you do. If that’s the case I’m glad you aren’t the GM. I like the direction the Leafs are headed, and if you want a player like Clarkson who’s clutch, tough and defensively responsible you pay 5 a year. That’s what the market demands.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        A 25-30 goal scorer? You do realize he’s scored more than 17 goals once in his 9 year career right? He’s not a 25-30 goal scorer, he’s a 15-17 goal scorer who once had a career year. Leafs fans are gonna tear this guy apart when he doesn’t deliver 30 goals and 50 points every year. You guys paid $5.25 million a year for a third line checker…brilliant!

      • sunderlanding - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        He had 30 goals two years ago, and was on pace for close to 30 last year. You do realize last year was only 48 games right?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 28, 2013 at 6:40 AM

        Also the years when Clarkson was only scoring around the 15 goals range, he was on the 3rd line.

        The seasons since he’s been on the top 2 lines he’s been scoring in the 25 goals range. Assuming he plays with Lupul and Kadri on the 2nd line, he will do just fine. He should be able to crack 20 goals easy.

        And the amount $5.25 per year is no big deal. It’s not like it’s a major overpayment that will hinder the team for years to come. It’s maybe 1M too much… nothing to worry about.

        Cap goes back up next year AND Phaneuf’s $6.5 contract is done. There WILL be money to play with again.

  2. ruthlessandtoothless - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    So pay a guy who’s career high in points is 46 and never cracked 40 points once in 5 others seasons $5.25 mil until he’s 34 and get rewarded with a 5 year contract of your own? Wow surviving as a GM is hard these days.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Well he did have so much success following Brian Burke in Vancouver…oh wait. Toronto fans dont seem to realize that they just made the playoffs with Brian Burke’s team, and once Nonis gets done shaping it with his style even having one of the best coaches in the NHL won’t be enough to save them.

      • timsabourin - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        see below ya mutant

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:35 AM

        Sorry buddy, but “Burke’s team” had Tim Connolly, Colby Armstrong, Matt Lombardi and Mike Komisarek filling out the roster (and salary cap).

        Nonis got rid of BURKE’S dead weight making room for better, younger players to finally get a chance to play.

        Would the Leafs have made the playoffs with Tim Connolly playing rather than giving Kadri a shot at playing center? Grabovski sure wishes Connolly got that chance.

        Under Burke, Franson was a constant healthy scratch and Fraser was buried in the AHL. Under Nonis they were the Leafs best defensive line.

        Goaltending? The Best goalie Burke was able to attract to the team was an aging, fragile Giguere and the “best goalie not in the NHL” Gustavsson.

        Nonis in his first offseason as GM picked up one of the best goalie prospects in the NHL. As good as Reimer is, he had his work cut out for him to keep that starting job. Bernier will push him and probably steal the job. Having two good young goalies is an asset. If one stands out, they can still trade the other one.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 26, 2013 at 8:48 AM

        So Burke decided who the healthy scratches were? That’s funny in every other city the coach decides who he’s going to play every night not the GM, but I guess that doesn’t fit the narrative you want right?

        And you like Reimer right?…who brought him to the team and ultimately gave him a chance?…yep, the guy who only brought Gigeure to the Leafs.

        Kadri?…which GM drafted him? Gardiner? Lupul? Kessel? Phaneuf? Pretty much the entire core of the 2013 version?

        Do you like your new coach?…he’s pretty good isn’t he? …yeah he was hired (and probably is only there) because of Brian Burke.

        Oh and the young guys you mentioned, the Marlies have done a good job the past few years at developing young players right?…remind me again, who put Dallas Eakins in place down there?

        Sorry but you don’t get to magically blame Brian Burke for everything that went wrong (plenty did go wrong under him) and now all of a sudden show revisionist history and act as if Dave Nonis did some remarkable job putting the 2013 Leafs together, he guided Burke’s team with Burke’s coaching staff to the playoffs. Now he’s made his mark on the team and it will be his going forward.

        And yes Bernier is a good prospect, BUT, he’s started 62 total NHL games in his career to this point (the most in one season being 25 so far) he’s never been a full time starter, so why don’t we reserve judgement on this one?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:45 AM

        It is the GM who tranfsers players from the AHL to the NHL.

        Dave Nonis (NOT Burke) sent Tim Connolly and Mike Komisarek to the AHL to bury they cap hit and ‘talents’. Nonis then called up Nazem Kadri who finally had the chance to play. He flourished. He also called up Mark Fraser, who made Komisarek easy to forget.

        “remind me again, who put Dallas Eakins in place down there?”
        That GM of the Marlies at the time was… Dave Nonis.

    • sunderlanding - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      5.25 isn’t that big of a cap hit. Sure if they payed him like a point per game player it’d be stupid, but as it stands it’s just a little bit of an overpayment. The guy is probably worth 4.5, but in free agency you always get around a million more than you’re worth. It’s not like Toronto is hurting for money anyway. Clarkson can bring a lot to the table other than just points.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:41 PM

        I’m not saying he won’t bring other things to the table, however a lot of Leafs fans aren’t as rationale as you may be, they see what he’s making, they see him as a 1st/2nd line player who they think will light it up, but in reality he’s a good 3rd line player who can play some second line in spurts, and they’re likely to turn on him quickly when he doesn’t meet their superstar expectations.

        And no this isn’t a Toronto thing (Calgary fans turned on Bouwmeester quickly even though he was playing a steady defensive game and was the best skater on the team, but he wasn’t meeting the point production they expect from a $6.5 million a year player) but Toronto has so much media following the team that it’s a different world all it’s own.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        Maybe he will be a bust, but as it stands it’s not a terrible deal on paper, It’s not a home run either mind you, but I don’t think it’s as bad as a lot of people (outside Toronto) make out to be. Besides, if things get real bad they can just buy him out.

      • ruthlessandtoothless - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM

        After the whole lockout argument of “paying players too much” by the owners you’d think the overpayments would stop. And if not stop then at least not go and reward the guy who overpaid players with your money just a few weeks later. It just shows how short owners’ memories are. When almost 1/12 of your cap is dedicated to a player who really hasn’t earned much you can’t really argue that as a reason to get a reward like Nonis did.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 26, 2013 at 2:47 AM

        When it’s what you have to do to stay competitive it’s what you have to do. The owners you speak of are the small market owners. Toronto has money to make mistakes. Clarkson could turn out to be a good signing. If he continues to produce at the rate he has the last couple of seasons, and plays hard he’ll be a good fit. The cap could go up next year, and they have 2 mil comming off the books in buyout money, so even if Kessel wants a big raise they should be able to afford it, and keep the key players around. Besides if they decide Nonis screwed up they can just fire him, but this way he can focus on the team for now.

      • withseidelinn - Jul 26, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        The extra mill he got will be worth it when he turns into the next Darcy Tucker of Leaf Nation. This guy is going to thrive every single home game they have playing in front of a sold out madhouse. He will hit, fight, chirp and score and the fans will love it. Clarkson is a character guy that Leafs fans will get to know and love. That type of player is worth 5.25 mil a year especially when he puts up 20-30 goals.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 26, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        Hey I agree with you. It’s these other assholes who need a wake up call. People just love to bash the Leafs, because without them there wouldn’t be an NHL.

      • koredan - Jul 27, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        withseidelinn- That would be the same Darcy Tucker who’s still being paid by the Leafs and counting against their cap even though he’s been retired since 2010? I think people are afraid Clarkson will be exactly that, yes.

      • sunderlanding - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Up until then he was a fan favourite who delivered every night, and was part of a Leafs team that could compete, so if Clarkson can deliver the same type of play up until that point Leaf fans will be happy.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:22 AM

      @ruthless,
      Your comment would make sense if that was that the only move Nonis has made as GM. $5.25M for Clarkson is nothing to worry about.

      It’s not like he’s signing Grabovski for 5.5M, Tim Connolly 4.75M, Mike Komisarek for 4.5M, Liles for 4.25 or Colby Armstrong for 3.0M…

      Do you REALLY miss Burke that much? If so, Anaheim is where he’s at. Feel free to go cheer for them. They need fans more than the Leafs do anyways.

  3. deezenucks - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Facepalm

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 26, 2013 at 1:37 AM

      You must be thinking of Mike Gillis again.

  4. timsabourin - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    before anymore people chirp nonis’ moves – remember who the leafs will be playing the majority of their games against – detroit, ottawa, montreal, buffalo, florida, tampa and boston. with the exception of boston, not terribly physical teams (understatement). they are going to hammer the shhit out of everyone, have two (more than?) competent goalies and some gifted offensive players. i’ll let you draw your own conclusions from there.

  5. vanindeed - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Nonis is doing a good job. Toronto is starting to look like a destination for players again. Wish he was still in Vancouver

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