Dave Nonis said a couple of things this weekend! Nothing that is a hot enough take for a full article, but still worth discussing.
First, we have him talking about Jake Gardiner’s contract status yesterday:
“Talks are on-going. Things are going fine. I don’t see any hiccups there.”
It’s an encouraging statement, as people begin to sweat bullets in regards to the last remaining RFA on the roster. The reality of the matter is, there wasn’t the same pressure that arbitration brings for him as Franson and Reimer had, and as such, no scramble to sign him. If Gardiner decides he fully “wants out”, it will be loud and we will know.
It’ll be interesting to seeing what this contract ends up being. Many are still expecting the short term bridge, but with $4.4 million left to spend under a roster of 23 men, the Leafs should comfortably be able to secure him.
Today, he spoke a bit about James Reimer’s new deal:
“What he did ask was for us to explore opportunities that would make sense for both sides. We did. I went back to him and said, ‘I don’t have something that I would feel comfortable doing and we prefer to sign you.’ We both felt him coming back was good for us and for him. He wouldn’t have signed a two-year-deal if he didn’t feel comfortable coming back to Toronto.”
This makes a lot of sense. Truthfully, every goaltender on the market is either bad or has a high chance of finally becoming bad. For a trade to work for the Leafs, they’d have to get a good goalie back, which likely negates the point of acquiring Reimer for the other team.
If Reimer feels that he’s ready to play for next year, this is a very good chance for redemption on his part. Bernier’s end-of-year numbers were just as sketchy as his, and Reimer has the cheaper and longer contract at the moment. How crazy would it be if he ends up being the favoured one when all is said and done?
Then again, it’s all media speak. For all we know, the Leafs haven’t fully regained sanity and are still working on a “trade Reimer, sign an 80 year old” scenario, and have merely decided that hiding in plain sight isn’t the best way to approach it.