Canucks and Beyond

Toronto Sports Network

05/09/2008 at 12:44pm EDT

An FYI to TSN and their heartfelt commitment to the source who tells them the Leafs have actually spoken to Dave Nonis, a note from Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun:

Nonis denied early Thursday in an interview that anyone from the Leafs had even contacted him.

“I haven’t talked to anyone from Toronto at this time,” Nonis told TEAM 1040 radio in the morning. “Right now, Toronto is not one of the teams I’ve spoken to and we’ll see if they do contact me. I don’t really have any intentions of rushing into something unless it looks like something I have to do. I’d prefer to sit and wait. It’s still very early.”

TSN—who almost certainly listened to that same interview—still managed to come up with this:

Sources tell TSN the Leafs have officially made contact with former Vancouver Canucks general manager Dave Nonis in an effort to move the process along. It’s expected the two sides will meet next week.

News that the Canucks had been approached by the Leafs about Nonis has prompted speculation that the former Canucks GM is part of a plan that includes getting Anaheim general manager Brian Burke to Toronto in the summer of 2009, when his contract with the Ducks expires. Nonis, who worked for Burke in Vancouver, could potentially be be hired as GM, replacing interim man Cliff Fletcher. A year from now, with Burke having fulfilled his contractual obligation in Anaheim, he could be hired by the Leafs as team president and be reunited with Nonis.

“If they do decide to bring me in, and tell me what they’re thinking, at that point there’s a decision to make,” Nonis said earlier on Thursday.

[a screenshot of that part of the story, given TSN’s tendency to ‘adjust’ their internet reports]

Perhaps something has changed since Nonis’s interview yesterday morning, but that seems doubtful. TSN has been trotting out this same report in various forms for nearly 3 days, I believe. [update 11:30am: the Canadian Press reports their own source with the same info as TSN’s so perhaps there is merit to TSN’s report]

Regardless, coverage of this Leafs GM story is a good lesson in why TSN—despite having some of the best hockey programming in the world—persistently ends up at the butt-end of Toronto Sports Network jokes throughout the rest of Canada. When it comes to anything to do with Leafs Land, they frequently seem to get themselves into trouble.

This Toronto GM story has run through a particularly impressive array of nothingness… stuff like “Toronto will not be talking to Doug Wilson” and “Toronto will not be talking to Ken Holland” are feature reports? Well no kidding… for one thing, those guys have JOBS at this moment. And common sense should dictate two things: Detroit will surely never let Holland go anywhere; and as San Jose’s ownership has pointed to plainly: “Doug’s under contract.” Case closed.

To be fair, every NHL city has its share of sports media obsessed with the local team, and so they’ll make news out of nothing to entertain their listeners/viewers/readers.

Yet TSN is a national broadcaster—and that’s a fact that’s awfully hard to remember every time someone so much as burps at Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment.

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