Leafs GM Dave Nonis addressed the future of his struggling club on Wednesday, making it clear he wasn’t going to make a change just for the sake of making a change.
“It’s not happening,” Nonis told the Toronto Sun about firing head coach Randy Carlyle, or shaking things up via trade. “We’re not making a move [player or coach] for the sake of making a move. We’re not trading a young player away that will erode our depth or take youth out of our lineup. We don’t do that.”
The Leafs have three wins in their last 13 and just one regulation win since Nov. 19. Wednesday’s 3-1 loss — at home — to the Florida Panthers was considered by many to be the low point of the season, but Nonis said anybody waiting for Carlyle to be fired was “going to be waiting a long time.”
What’s more, Nonis essentially shot down all trade rumors by bashing the offers that have come his way.
“I’m getting a lot of offers on players, but the offers are all a joke,” he said. “I’m not about to trade a quality player for someone who can’t help us. That’s what’s being presented our way.”
On that note, here’s a tidbit from TSN’s most recent Dreger Report:
Nonis has been trolling the league looking for trades and admits he has had offers on James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly and both his goalies.
However, the general managers with the most interest have yet to produce anything beyond older players in return or trade packages that are not useful to the Maple Leafs in the long term.
It seems as though Nonis is prepared to let his team try and dig its way out of the current situation. The Leafs do have a few things working for them — they play four of their next five at home, for example — and stringing together some solid performances could go a long way in silencing some of the whispers.
While much has been written about the Boston Bruins’ depleted defense, there’s also a good amount of intrigue about the forward group, which will look dramatically different tonight compared to last year’s season opener.
Here are the Bruins’ expected lines versus the Jets:
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey–David Krejci–David Pastrnak
Jimmy Hayes–Ryan Spooner–Brett Connolly
Chris Kelly–Joonas Kemppainen–Zac Rinaldo
The line most under the microscope may be that second one. In today’s Boston Globe, there’s a lengthy story on Krejci. The 29-year-old center with the big contract only played 47 games last season due to injuries. He finished with just 31 points.
So, where is Krejci’s game now?
Then there’s free-agent addition Matt Beleskey, a.k.a. Milan Lucic‘s replacement. Prior to scoring 22 times last year for the Ducks, the 27-year-old Beleskey had never tallied more than 11 goals in a season.
So, is Beleskey a legitimate top-six forward?
On the other wing, it’s David Pastrnak, the 19-year-old who, somewhat surprisingly, emerged as one of the top rookies in the league last year.
So, can Pastrnak take another step forward?
“It’s been a good three plus weeks where we’ve been able to kind of work individually, as a group, as a line, with different players and different personalities,” said coach Claude Julien. “We’re pleased with it. We’re optimistic and we just have to let things work themselves out too.”
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks