Magical Mystery Scouting Tour Continues, Plus UFA Updates

Dave Nonis is In Your City, Scouting Your Players

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis’s magical scouting tour continues, as was reported last night by Elliotte Friedman during Hockey Night in Canada’s Saturday Headlines segment.

After spending some time in Nashville to take in the Predators-Ducks tilt on Thursday evening, Nonis popped up in a foreign press box once again yesterday to scout the Los Angeles Kings’ 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It’s no secret that Nonis has been heavily scouting the Kings over the past few weeks. We’ve actually already discussed in detail what Kings pieces the Leafs might be most interested in. It’s good to see that trade talks haven’t broken down, since Los Angeles has a number of fantastic young players, and are in desperate need of some help. Then again, they also have Mike Richards, so…

Also, if you’re wondering why Dead Man Walking is still scouting players, take note – Dave Nonis is expected to remain on as the Leafs’ GM through the trade deadline. If you wanted him out, you’re likely going to have to wait until the summer.

Leafs Aren’t Making Any Progress With Their Free Agents

Also according to Elliotte Friedman (or Damien Cox via Elliotte Friedman), the Leafs are no closer to resigning pending UFAs Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik. Naturally, all of them are prime candidates to be moved before the trade deadline, though Cox (via Friedman) is also reporting that there’s been more and more talk about the possibility that Tyler Bozak could be moved as well. 

If the three (or four) of those players are moved, the Leafs could very well be flush with more picks and prospects in the very near future. It’s a hell of a way to kick start a rebuild.

I linked to it above, but you can also watch the full Saturday Headlines segment below…

  • Dirty30

    we need to keep franson. right defence on the team is a tragedy. polak is the best rd we have without franson. we can’t have holzer/granberg/robidas. that’s an abomination. we should really trade phaneuf and resign franson. get rid of bozak/lupul and resign santorelli/winnik.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Sure, it would be great to keep all these guys — but they’ll be walking for nothing at the end of the season. It’s a shame. But it’s also a necessity.

  • Dawgfan1980

    This is the question you should ask yourself if you are the GM of this team:

    Three years from now, which pieces on this team will still be in a position to not be overpaid and help this team win a conference championship.

    If any assets are going to walk without receiving compensation, move them. Currently, Franson will be compensated in the $5m/yr range. Can’t afford him at that in three years when he’ll be at best our third d-man, but probably passed by Percy, Gardiner and Rielly if not a Loov or other player in the pipeline.

    That’s why you move Bernier in my opinion. He isn’t good enough to win a stanley cup on his own, he isn’t as much an upgrade over Reimer to justify his increase in salary this offseason (Arbitration will put him in the $4-$5million range if you tender him).

    If there wasn’t a salary cap, keep everyone and then sink them in the minors. However, we can’t. I also wouldn’t retain salary except with Clarkson in a deal. But, I’m not the General Manager, which I’m sure pleases a few readers of this site.

    Sometimes though, remember that deals aren’t always there to be had. If the only thing you can get for Panik is a conditional fourth, do you make the trade? Some guys you move on no matter the return (See the Ashton/Broll trade) to set up other trades and allow flexibility. There are four untouchables on the NHL roster in my mind, with about four more in the minors that I wouldn’t move on. Reimer is slowly moving into that territory too of keep with his value versus cost.

    Once again, you have to look at value for dollar when pretending to be GM, unless you can move Clarkson, Komarov, Robidas (all over compensated for their current roles and I love Komarov) who do not provide good return. I’m not going to bag on Clarkson at all as a hockey player. Just understand that it will take a small miracle for him to be off the books before 2021 and accept it. Just ties your hands on other luxuries.

    • Jeremy Ian

      I agree, business sense has to prevail for a while to dig out of this pile. I also think Bernier should be dangled out there. He might fetch something and the Leafs are not going to be good for a while. It makes no sense to have both Reimer and Bernier for the price they charge.

  • Jeremy Ian

    Thankyou, Justin. That’s an utterly brilliant title! Some of Dave’s decisions over the past two years have been a complete mystery to me and not very magical either.