The new Toronto Maple Leafs GM, one day into his tenure, fueled speculation that the next big news to come from the Leafs may indeed be a trade for Roberto Luongo. Speaking on Hockey Night in Canada Radio he said without goaltending teams struggle.
“You can’t have success without quality goaltending," he told hosts Gord Stellick and Scott Oake Thursday. "If we can improve in net we’re going to." He did mention that what other teams might ask for when moving a goalie to Toronto may be a deterrent. "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.”
While he suggested on the one hand that he may be looking to make a deal for a puckstopper, on the other he praised the two young goalies he has. Nonis indicated they were looking for James Reimer, 24, with 71 games and 34 wins on his NHL resume, and Toronto Marlies goalie, Ben Scrivens, 26, with just 12 games and 4 wins in the NHL, to step up and regain past form.
“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," Nonis said. "Then the answer is yes (the goaltending will be okay)."
Dave Nonis: Will evaluate Reimer, Scrivens
To muddy the waters of goalie trade talk, he indicated it's not a decision he would make right away. Whether he was posturing to bring the price down should Vancouver want to move Luongo before the season starts can't be known, but he told Stellick and Oake he's going to evaluate in the early going before making a decision on his goaltending.
With only a 48-game schedule, Nonis will have to be concerned about his club falling behind too early and if the deal isn't made before the drop of the puck on Jan. 19, expect him to pull the trigger if his goaltending stumbles coming out of the gate.
Nonis told his hosts that the firing of Brian Burke did not have anything to do with a potential trade for Roberto Luongo. He declined to say whether he had, as is rumored, tried to talk Maple Leaf management into allowing Burke to stay on as GM for the short season.