|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Sat Apr 25th, 2015 01:06 am||
|Dave Nonis isn't mad, he's disappointed.
That's how the ex-general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs characterized his reaction to being let go by team president Brendan Shanahan shortly after the end of the regular season.
"A part of me thought we were going to move on to the next phase of our plan. That was my first thought, but a part of me knew it was coming," Nonis told Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun. "(Shanahan) told me he was making a change. I pretty much knew what he was thinking ... I understand the reasons behind it. I’m not mad at Brendan. He’s still a friend of mine.
"But still, I was disappointed."
In regards to the next phase of the plan following another disappointing season in Toronto, Nonis contends it doesn't have to involve moving either Phil Kessel or Dion Phaneuf.
In fact, he believes Stanley Cup-level teams need a player of Kessel's ilk.
I don’t think they have to move Phil Kessel. You only move him if you decide the return is worth it. If you don’t get value for him, you’re only hurting your team. I believe the baggage that comes with Phil is overblown. Are there things he has to change? Absolutely. But I can assure you of this: Whatever team wins the Stanley Cup this year will have a Phil Kessel in the lineup. I can guarantee that.
Does he have things to work on? Yes. But he has something other players don’t have. He does have pride and he does want to win. He has to learn to focus some of those characteristics and do a better job. But he’s not a player they have to move.
Nonis admitted to having a deal involving Phaneuf in place prior to the trade deadline, but reiterated the fact it's not necessary to make a move if the return won't benefit the club.
"I could have traded Dion at the deadline. We had a deal, it wasn’t a great one, but it was a deal," Nonis said. "I look at Phil and Dion and I still think they’re elite, upper-end players. They both could be traded, but it’s not like the Leafs are stuck with them if they’re back. I think they can come back and help them."
With the future of the team no longer his concern, Nonis is focusing on finding his next opportunity in hockey.
"I’m not good at sitting around," he said. "I want to get back in the game as quickly as possible. That’s the plan."