An imagined conversation between Dave Nonis and Mike Gillis

INT: Dave Nonis’ Honda Civic – Downtown Toronto

*The phone rings of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager. It is the Vancouver Canucks’ general manager calling*

Dave Nonis: Hello?

Mike Gillis: Hey, Dave, was wondering if you were watching Primetime Sports just now?

Nonis: Isn’t that a radio show?

Gillis: They have a televised hour each day I think. I don’t know, McCown and Brunt were both outside on location at the Blue Jays facility in Dunedin.

Nonis: Oh. Anyway, Mike, I appreciate your efforts to sell me a goaltender, but at this time we’re still not interested in giving up Naz—

Gillis: Wait, Dave, hear me out. I’m not talking about Kadri. I sort of want to talk about Dunedin.

Nonis: Why?

Gillis: Well I’ve been reading newspapers. Lots of good things written about the Toronto Blue Jays this year, huh?

Nonis: I guess…

Gillis: Spent a loooot of money in the offseason by taking the contracts off the hands of teams that didn’t want to pay them. Got some good players out of it, too. Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson… Alex Anthopoulos is getting lots of love in the press.

Nonis: Is this about Roberto again? I told you, our goaltending has been fine this season. We aren’t interested.

Gillis: In dealing Nazem. Was listening to, er, Nick Kypreos.

Nonis: Oh really? What did he have to say?

Gillis: Oh, well not just Kypreos. The whole Sportsnet panel was talking about this Belaroussian third line centre you have now.

Nonis: Mikhail Grabovski?

Gillis: Are the stories true about his character? First year of a new five-year, $27-million deal and he celebrates by putting up 11 points in 29 games, is a minus-8 and is just 50.8% on face-offs. That’s way worse than Tyler Bozak, right?

Nonis: Uh…

Gillis: And Nazem Kadri, right? I’m just looking at the front page of the stat page. Kadri has 27 points and is a +13. Bozak has 15 points and has won 53.8% of his faceoffs.

Nonis: I’m, uh, in a drive-thru right now and not at my computer. What’s Kadri’s faceoff percentage, and what’s Bozak’s plus-minus?

Gillis: Not important. What’s important is that by selectively looking at a few statistics without any context, Grabovski is by far the worst of your top nine centremen. Hearing some bad stories about Grabovski’s character, too. Rift with that coach of yours or something.

Nonis: Look stop trying to do this. We’re not interested in Roberto Luongo right now, and we sure as hell aren’t going to trade—

Gillis: Hey, who suggested anything about trading? I was just asking if you saw the segment.

Nonis: I didn’t, and I don’t have a TV in my car, so I couldn’t watch the radio show.

Gillis: It’s on radio too.

Nonis: Look, what’s this about? You call me three or four times a day and it’s the same old junk. I’ve told you a million times in the last two weeks: our goaltending has been fine this year. It’s been better than yours, in fact.

Gillis: Really? I’m looking at some numbers right now and in on your five-game losing streak you guys have just an .875 even strength save percentage. That’s not real good.

Nonis: Aren’t you guys on a losing streak too? What’s your goaltending been like?

Gillis: Look, this isn’t about my team right now. I was just asking if you saw the segment.

Nonis: And you want to talk about Mikhail Grabovski?

Gillis: Not specifically…

Nonis: Sorry, hang on a second, I’m at the window




Gillis: Look, I mean, if you felt compelled to talk about him at all, seeing as he’s got five years left on his deal and 

Nonis: Goodbye, Mike.

Gillis: Damn.