Dave Nonis says goaltending is team’s No. 1 priority

Despite singing the praises of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, newly appointed Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis said he won’t hesitate to make a move via trade if either goaltender fails to impress early in the season.

One day after taking over from Brian Burke, who was fired by the team on Wednesday, Nonis appeared on Hockey Night in Canada Radio with hosts Gord Stellick and Scott Oake to discuss, among several issues, the Leafs’ No. 1 priority: goaltending.

“Depends on how [Reimer and Scrivens] play,” said Nonis. “If they play like we’ve seen them play in the past, and we don’t have any injury issues, and James gets back at the level that he was at, then the answer is yes [the goaltending is good enough].

“You can’t have success without quality goaltending. If we can improve in net we’re going to. If we can’t or if the price is just so ridiculous that it actually sets your team backwards, you have to win with the players that you have until you can make some changes.”

Nonis is fully aware of media reports over the last several months that have suggested the Leafs were going after Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. There was talk Wednesday that a potential Luongo deal may have been a factor in Burke’s dismissal.


8 Responses to Dave Nonis says goaltending is team’s No. 1 priority

  1. lafleur10 says:

    do you think it’s possible that charelli will fleece doug murray in anaheim and trade krejci for ryan?

  2. nordiques100 says:

    14 of the Leafs first 24 games are on the road. That’s going to be real tough for them. Hopefully they can survive.

    They end the year with 3 of the last 4 on the road. Not great if they end up in a dogfight for 8th. Especially too since games 46 and 47 are in Florida, the furthest the team has to travel and places where they generally fail.

    So all in all, not a very favorable sked for them.

  3. doorman says:

    Nords, while 14 of 24 to start on the road isn’t good, it could be a great tool to judge where these Leafs are as a team. While a great bluechip piece would be great at the draft,all I truly want from them this season is a solid nightly effort. I can stand losing during a rebuild if the effort is there. From solid efforts will come improvenents. My preference is to compete not just get into the playoffs. Eveyone can opint to the Kings all they want as an 8th seed that won, but seriously that team had way more talent then your average 8th seed.

    • 93killer93 says:

      The kings are probably the worst example to look at, they were a cup contender heading into the season and they struggled. Plus after the Carter trade they finished the season 13-5-3.

  4. doorman says:

    Exactly, which is why, I don’t want Nonis or ownership too shoot for 8th and hope for the best lol.

    • 93killer93 says:

      Ya at this point I would rather we just play out the season and trade our FA for picks. Burke said they were offered a 1st for macarthur last season, so trade him and if we’re not going to resign Lupul then trade him too.

    • nordiques100 says:

      I think though you always have to shoot for the playoffs. This is because it hurts the current group. They’re not ready for championship mode, but the shortened season, plus the fairly balanced nature of the East gives Toronto a chance. The experience will go a long way in helping what was what, the 2nd youngest team in the NHL last year?

      An addition or two is only fair to the current group at hand who have been in essence eaten alive with criticism and failure. They sure could stand to have some confidence infused. I think a proven goalie for example would give them that injection of confidence and hope.

      Lupul, Kessel, Phaneuf have missed the playoffs for 3 straight years now. MacAthur, Grabovski, Kulemin, Bozak, Gardiner, Gunnarsson and the two goalies among others, have never played in the playoffs.

      The constant losing/failure is going to hurt these younger players in the long run in my opinion. The success with the Marlies is fine, but its not the same.

      I realize the satisfaction of getting a top 2 or 3 pick, but the failure is going to grate on what the Leafs currently have as a core group. Kessel, Dion, Kulemin, etc are still learning to be better players and playoff competition can only help them be better IMO. and playoffs too help evaluate who the team eventually wants/should have going forward in the trenches. You learn even more of a players makeup in the playoffs.

      If tanking is the name of the game, perhaps it is best to start thinking of parting with Kessel, Dion, etc, to get even younger, even more long term. But I don’t know if i would allow Nonis to do that. His job seems insecure. The starting over has to be decided after the season. The whole organization will be re-evaluated then likely.

      Also, I think they passed that point, especially since its not even a brand new regime stepping in. I’m pretty sure Nonis will continue Burke’s work rather than strip it down and start over.

      I won’t blame Nonis at all for adding pieces, trying to give them a better chance. But in doing so, it has to not include Gardiner, Reilly or their 1st round picks. That will be the thing to watch for. If Nonis can get it done, without these 3 assets being included, its not going to set Toronto back at all IMO.

  5. doorman says:

    Ya, I think you will see what you want to some respect. I think at the draft this year we saw the first sign of a choice of direction. With Rielly then finn they took what they felt were the best avail players regardless of position. Then took a position of strength and used it to strengthen a weakness(schenn for JVR). As long as they play hard and continue down aq path not flip flopping i will be a happy camper so to speak. I can handle short term pain for long term gain. Besides this is a breeze compared to being a leafs fan in the 80’s lol.

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