Does anyone in Vancouver remember this thing happening before? The press conference that nobody saw coming has finished, and the Maple Leafs now have a new General Manager. Dave Nonis’ was announced as the 14th GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs this morning. Brian Burke will stay with the team as a Senior Advisor. The press conference went on for nearly 30 minutes and had some good questions from the assembled media.
- Why today? – There is never a “good time” to do this.
- Was Luongo a factor? – No (I feel like this is a lie).
- Is head coach Randy Carlyle’s job safe? – Yes.
- Why keep him on as an advisor? – He is a smart hockey mind.
- What didn’t the new ownership (Bell & Rogers) not like about Burke’s leadership style? – They spewed a bunch of politically correct BS at this question.
- Did you see this coming Mr. Nonis? – No. We went to the Marlies game last night. Came into work today and was told the news.
It seems like just yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks had announced a press conference to do the EXACT same thing. Then, what seemed like hours later, Nonis orchestrated a trade that brought Roberto Luongo to Vancouver.
Rumors have been swirling all morning, that Burke’s unwillingness to “sell the farm” to acquire Luongo from Vancouver was a main factor in his dismissal. The new ownership group in Toronto has, as has been speculated by many, been pressuring Burke to make the deal for months. For reasons I still cannot fathom, Burke had faith in James Reimer between the pipes heading into the season.
Does this front-office move in Toronto pave the way for the Luongo deal? Can Nonis pick up the pieces left behind by Burke and guide the Maple Leafs into the playoffs?
When Nonis took over for Burke in Vancouver, he had a team poised for success, but with question marks in the crease. He made the Luongo deal, and the Canucks quickly became the team we have now. Will this happen if Nonis makes the Luongo deal in Toronto? Considering the Leafs are currently set to start the season with James Reimer and Ben Scriens, it can’t hurt.