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Report: Leafs’ latest run came after GM Nonis threatened changes

Feb 2, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs speaks with the media during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.
(June 29, 2013 - Source: Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won nine of the past 11 games (going 9-1-1 in that stretch) and are one of the hottest teams in the NHL. They’ve been scoring goals in bunches, Phil Kessel is on fire, Nazem Kadri‘s production has picked up, and Jonathan Bernier has been playing outstanding in goal.

But was it GM Dave Nonis who lit a fire under the team? According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, that might just be the case.

Johnston reports Nonis threatened major changes would happen (trades, firings, the works) if the team didn’t snap out of the three-game funk they’d fallen into after a 6-1 loss to Carolina on Jan. 9. Neither Nonis nor any players spoke about it on the record about the apparent meeting, but it was intimated that it did happen.

While the Leafs lost the next game against Washington, the Leafs have been on a torrid pace since then and have jumped the Montreal Canadiens in the standings and are threatening the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division.

Winning cures all ills, and that’s certainly the case in Toronto right now, but if it was a stern warning from Nonis that lit the fire, credit is shared all around for the Leafs’ latest run.

  1. 950003cups - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Dave Nonis leaking out a story to take credit for something the players and coaches did? They all know that if a team consistently loses, people get fired, and players get traded. Unless, of course, if it’s the Devils where Lou Lamoriello has instilled losing as nothing more than business as usual. Just as long as his trusty Coach DeBoer finds that perennial “silver lining” after each debacle. So, no, Nonis doesn’t deserve credit for threatening trades, especially since the players pretty much know that nobody wants the contracts he gave out anyway.

    I’m sure GMs around the world are salivating at the chance of giving up a first round pick for that Clarkson deal.

    Give the players credit. They stepped up!

    • lowenni - Feb 2, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      This isn’t about Nonis taking credit. The article is just stating he threatened to shake things up and that lit a fire under the players, apparently. There’s no Nonis quote here saying “I did this, bla bla bla, give me the credit”. It’s just background information.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 2, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      If the report is true then he deserves a certain degree of credit. He was able to make it clear that the players are going to be held accountable, and the players obviously took that to heart in some way. Plus he did it in the least distracting way someone in his role could. Points for that.

      • withseidelinn - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Exactly. If he did say something directly to the players and coaches then he obviously did it in a way that got them to play to a higher level and turn things around. If that’s the case, then he deserves partial credit.

  2. patshal - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    I realize they got fired up but it won’t last long. They’ll fall apart just like they did against the bruins last year in the first round of the playoffs. They have a huge potential of doing that and I can see it happening. I don’t think they have a chance of finishing in front of Boston or Tampa Bay. At least I hope not. I hope the bruins win another cup. That I can see happening.

  3. stateofthesport - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Of course you want the Bruin’s to win,,, you guy’s like the gorilla’s in uniform,, FYI the Bruin’s are not the same team as last year,,, and they are getting older,,, they are not going to win it,,, however our leafs are young, and getting good experience,, they are coming together better,,,showing chemistry,,, if Bolland make’s it back i bet they
    Make a run at it,, they had Boston last year, they out played them out checked them,, they have learned that they can beat. Boston and a few other good teams they beat Pittsburgh this year, the Blackhawks, Tampa Bay,,,Detroit,, they are solid dude,,, don’t count
    Our leafs out yet..

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