Leaf rumors: Quenneville, Hartsburg possible coaches; Campbell, Nonis as execs?

Leafs targeting D Jay Bouwmeester? Gretzky another option as GM

Although the Maple Leafs are enjoying their prolonged summer vacation, they are still managing to make headlines around the NHL.

But then again, this stands to reason, given that the buds currently have no General Manager, Coach, or team Captain.

As such, some new rumors have arisen in the aftermath of Paul Maurice being sacked.According to several sources, a leading candidate to coach in Toronto next season is former Leafs defenseman Joel Quenneville.

Quenneville was fired by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, upon being swept out of the playoffs by the Detroit Red Wings.

While coaching the Avs, he compiled a rather impressive record of 131 wins and 92 losses, as well as a number of successful playoff runs, e.g., beating the favoured Stars in 2004.

Quenneville of course is familar with Toronto, having played for the Leafs from 1978 to 1980. And older Leaf fans are well aware that Quenneville was traded along with All-Star LW Lanny MacDonald to the Colorado Rockies by then GM Punch Implach in one of Toronto’s worst trades ever. But I digress.

In his press conference last week, interim GM Cliff Fletcher wasn’t willing to speculate on anything.

Meanwhile, Damien Cox suggests that the Leafs may also consider former Minnesota North Stars all-star D Craig Hartsburg for the coaching post.

Hartsburg has previously coached in Chicago and Anaheim, and most recently with Canada’s gold medal-winning world junior team.

For the job of new team President, Cox suspects the Leafs may consider Colin Campbell, who is currently an NHL vice-president.

And for the GM post, the Leafs are strongly considering former Vancouver GM Dave Nonis, as widely reported by the media.

But Cox makes some interesting points. He believes that Nonis received a bum rap in Vancouver, and he has the ability to make the big deal, e.g., Todd Bertuzzi for Roberto Luongo. More importantly, he has refused to expend futures for short-term gain, and pretty much was fired by the Canucks for not being willing to sacrifice players and prospects for Brad Richards. The Leafs of course have done the opposite the past 40 years, which pretty much explains the teams Cup futility.

And let’s not forget that it was then Canucks GM Bryan Burke who threw away RJ Umberger, not Nonis.

Anyway, many fans aren’t happy with the idea of hiring Nonis. This response is quite understandable, given that the team is just starting to come out of the Dark Ages, also known as the John Ferguson Jr years.

And TSN is reporting that Leaf brass will meet with Nonis on Tuesday, and the Atlanta Thrashers apparently are also pursuing Nonis.

As for other possible GMs, Cox states that, based on what we know, Brian Burke, Ken Holland, Lou Lamoriello, Doug Wilson and Bob Gainey are all off limits.

Meanwhile, the Fan 590 in Toronto is reporting that Wayne Gretzky is on the Leafs’ shortlist of possible GMs.

Howard Berger reports that he was speaking with a close friend of Gretzky who believes he is on the shortlist. We should keep your eye on this one.

In other news, as reported on HTR, Leafs forward Jason Blake was quoted in the Toronto Star as saying this past season was the most frustrating of his career, and that a trade out of Toronto might be the best solution.

Blake, who is one of the finalists for the Bill Masterson Trophy, simply doesn’t want to stay in Toronto, and the Leafs don’t want to keep him around.

The big question, of course, is whether the team can find someone to take his contract. Blake still has four years left on the deal at $5 million a season. (Yikes!)

Fletcher has already stated he would not buy out Blake’s contract, as it would cost the team too much money against the cap.

The Leafs are likely to re-sign Matt Stajan, who had a rather strong season, emerging as a team leader and solid two-way forward.

Stajan made $950,000 and will likely get a new deal worth just over $1 million.

The Leafs are also likely to qualify Alex Foster and possibly Ben Ondrus.

It is less clear whether the Leafs intend to make a qualifying offer to C Kyle Wellwood. The enigmatic, injury-prone forward took a step back from last year, when he compiled 42 points in 48 games.

My take is you have to give Wellwood another chance to observe him during a healthy stretch. The man has had two hernia operations, so let’s cut him some slack.

Lastly, we all know that Eklund at Hockeybuzz.com is not the most reliable source for trade rumors. In fact, I think Eklund and Kramer have the same “sources”. Having said that, apparently the Leafs are considering putting together a “monster” package to try to land talented Florida Panther D Jay Bouwmeester.

What would you give up for Bouwmeester, realistically? Would you give up Kaberle and Stajan?

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56 Responses to Leaf rumors: Quenneville, Hartsburg possible coaches; Campbell, Nonis as execs?

  1. rojoke says:

    Nolan has a contract with the Islanders for next season.

    The thing about Nonis is that everyone's pegging him as a one-year temp until Burke's free and clear to ride in on his white horse and save the day for the Leafs.  But two questions come out of that scenario.  First, what makes everyone so sure that Burke's going to be free after next season?  They had a setback in their Cup defense this season, due mainly to the quasi-retirement of Scott Nidermayer and Teemu Selanne, and some cap issues, but the fact that Ducks ownership didn't can him after this season says they think he can right the ship next fall.  If they get off to a decent start, they'll probably re-sign him before the season ends.  But Burke's wife has professional connections of her own out west, which is a reason why he chose to stay out west after the Canucks let him go.  The commute from Anaheim is a lot shorter than the one from Toronto.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if Burke is re-signed by the end of the calendar year.

    But here's the big one.  Nonis just had a GM job, and I think it's safe to say that he wants another one.  Why would he take a temp job, a high profile temp job at that, and then step aside after a year to make room for the guy he himself had replaced?  If the man has any iota of self-respect, he's not going to agree to those terms.  First, he'd be a lame duck and he'd be second-guessed at every turn, not just by the press but by the other GMs in the league.  If Lou Lamoriello phones him up to discuss a deal, is he absolutely certain that Nonis can make a deal, or does he have to run it past Peddie first.  And every team in the league is going to be looking closely at any deal that would involve Anaheim and Toronto if Burke doesn't re-sign.  Think about a deadline deal that saw Getzlaf, Perry and Bobby Ryan for a bunch of picks?

    Fletcher isn't going to stick around for a whole year just to wait for a possible chance to land Burke.  He, Gord Kirke and the rest of the selection committee should realistically consider the people that are available immediately and get the best person possible for the job right away, starting at whatever level they wish.  Putting it off for a season ain't gonna make it any easier.  It could turn out just the opposite, and their A-list guys right now could all be gainfully employed elsewhere this time next year.  Then the shyte would really hit the fan(s), who would rightfully throw it right back at the Leafs' front office.

  2. ericthered1961 says:

    Hey no he didn’t. Luongo was the first pick of the Islanders who finished dead last the season before….then 2 or 3 years later he traded luongo to florida for a bag of pucks only to see him drafgt another goalie.

  3. muckies says:

    That was actually's Toronto's pick,  5th overall oin the 1997 draft. They tarded the #5 and Ken Jonhson to the Isles for Wendel Clarke and Mathieu Schnider. 

    what a shitty trade, just brutal for the Leafs, drafting Luongo would have compeltly changed the direction of the franchise
  4. cam7777 says:

    Gretzky is a scientologist?  Not that that would effect his hockey decision making, I just didn't know that.  You're right though, he would be too loyal.  But at least he would bring a little respect to the franchise in the immediate future. 

  5. the_word says:

    Well it may not be entirely fair to call a scientologist, his wife is extremely involved in the 'church'. Call Gretz one just seems to be corollary from that point.

  6. sundin_500 says:

    Bahaha someone knows nothing about hockey:P Yeah, i would love to give up one of the best offence defencemen in the league for 37 point man Bouwmeester. Lol you fans who know nothing sure are hilarious, But i do feel bad for kaberle, he had a bad season, he only got 53 points:(I will give you McCabe for Bouwmeester. McCabe is an amazing offensive defencemen and actually pretty good defenesively as well, but thats something you casual, toronto sun, readers wouldnt understand. McCabe made 3 mistakes this year, hit the net, put it in his net, and gave it away in OT but besides that,(and his injury) he was outstanding.

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