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…
“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.
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.
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.
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.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible:
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.