Toronto Maple Leafs: Changes are in the offing, GM Dave Nonis says
As Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis wrapped up his season-ending news conference, there was only one player on the roster who received his unwavering support: Phil Kessel.
When he mentioned the names of others — such as pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Bozak and No. 1 goalie James Reimer — there was praise followed by a quick reminder that changes are in the offing.
The issue with Kessel is come July the Leafs will be able to offer their top forward a contract extension. He was asked if he would.
“I think this is the best stretch of hockey Phil Kessel has ever played,” said Nonis. “He’s — in my mind — one of the top players in the league. Would we look to extend Phil? Again, he has a year left on his contract, there is no urgency in getting him signed to an extension.
“Phil Kessel is going to be a good player in this league for a long time. If there is a deal that makes sense for both of us, then no question we’d look to bring him back for an extended period of time.”
As for Kessel’s centre and best friend — Bozak — Nonis was a tad less effusive in his praise.
Bozak tore his oblique muscle at the end of the season and ripped his triceps muscle during a faceoff in Game 5 and was missing for Games 6 and 7. He said he wants to return to Toronto.
What does Nonis think?