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Nothing says, “I believe in my unproven GM” like giving Dave Nonis a 5-year contract extension

Sportsnet reported the following...

And eyebrow-raising ensued:

The Leafs have confirmed, and here's their press release:

Tim Leiweke, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, announced Thursday that David Nonis has signed a five-year contract extension in his role as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“Ownership and management felt it was critical to extend David now for a lengthy period of time and to reward him for the progression of the Leafs and Marlies,” said Leiweke. “This extension will allow David the time to build his kind of team to produce steady results, year after year. Everyone is excited about his ability and grasp of the NHL landscape and today’s new contract agreement will offer the Leafs consistency and a long-term vision.”

“I’m very grateful to Tim Leiweke and our ownership group for this contract extension,” said Nonis. “Together with our hockey operations staff, we’ll continue to patiently put the building blocks in place which will lead us to future success.”

Nonis, 47, became the 15th general manager in Toronto franchise history when he was named to the post on January 9, 2013. The Leafs advanced to the NHL Playoffs for the first time since 2004 by securing the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference by virtue of their 57 points earned in the 48-game regular season. He originally joined the Leafs in the role of senior vice president of hockey operations on December 6, 2008.

The Burnaby, British Columbia native began his hockey management career in 1990 with the Vancouver Canucks following a standout hockey career at the University of Maine that saw him captain the team to back-to-back NCAA championship tournaments. After his first stint with the Canucks, he joined the National Hockey League as the League’s manager of hockey operations in 1994. He returned to Vancouver in 1998 as the team’s senior vice president and director of hockey operations. On May 6, 2004 he was named the youngest general manager in the history of the Canucks.

While general manager of the Canucks, Nonis’ teams compiled a record of 130 wins, 91 losses, and 25 ties. He also served as the general manager of Canada’s National Men’s Team for the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

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BrendonTO's avatar

As someone living here (but cheering for another team) I can say quite confidently that the press in Toronto barely knows what they’re talking about when it comes to the Leafs. Generally the idea is to find something to complain about, even if everything else is going well.

Do they not realize that for long portions of Burke’s tenure Nonis was essentially the de-facto GM? Burke was President/Face Of The Team and often left a lot of the heavy lifting to his protege. Nonis was also the GM who brought Bobby Lu to Vancouver. Guy has a track record and obvious chemistry with a coach who has obvious chemistry with the team. 5 years is a bit much but it lets Nonis focus on the task at hand.

Mark my words: next thing coming out of TO will be that Kessel has signed a long-term extension and according to all the ‘experts’ the cap hit and term are both ridiculous, and they should have never made that trade, etc…..

Posted by BrendonTO on 07/25/13 at 01:44 PM ET


Nonis was also the GM who brought Bobby Lu to Vancouver. Guy has a track record and obvious chemistry with a coach who has obvious chemistry with the team. 5 years is a bit much but it lets Nonis focus on the task at hand.

They also missed the playoffs in 2 of his 3 seasons. While the Luongo trade was robbery, I don’t know too many Canucks fans who look back fondly on Nonis as GM.

Posted by Chris M on 07/25/13 at 01:56 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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