Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/04/13 at 12:58 AM ET
As Paul noted, the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons most certainly offered a slightly moribund slate of hockey notes on early Saturday evening, but he followed 'em up with a rather intriguing profile of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis:
By the age of 15, Dave Nonis knew exactly where he was headed. There was no place other than the National Hockey League for him. He was on the fast track, rated as the No. 1 defenceman in all of British Columbia. His world was small — but it was his. The No. 2-rated defenceman in the province was a kid named Doug Bodger.
“Doug kids me about it now, sometimes,” said Nonis. “I was No. 1, he was No. 2. He went on to play a thousand games in the NHL. I didn’t play any. I would gladly trade those rankings for the thousand games he played. Honest, I would have been happy to play just one game.”
It never happened for Nonis, the dream playing career: He was a superkid — on the ice by the age of four, the captain at University of Maine, a one-year wonder in AL-Bank Ligaen, the Danish Hockey League, and that was it. He wouldn’t play Bodger’s 1,071 games in the NHL, wouldn’t be drafted at all, and now sits in his fifth-floor office on Bay St. overlooking the construction that is downtown Toronto, in the dream job of all hockey dream jobs: Running the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Only it was never the dream for this quiet, reserved man.
“Like a lot of people, I wanted to play,” said Nonis in a lengthy interview. “I had some opportunities to play in the minors, go to NHL camps, play overseas, but by then I knew pretty much what I was.”
He spent a summer after the 1988 Olympics on the Canadian national team. That didn’t get him anywhere. “At some point I needed to look at something else. “
Simmons continues at length, and his profile certainly tells you what makes Nonis tick...
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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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