Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis was one of several special guests at a charity fundraiser put on by Toronto businessman Mike Wilson on Wednesday night. All proceeds went to the Safe School Network and the theme of the night was facing off against LGBTQ bullying. Our Steve Buffery caught up to Nonis for an interview about all things Leafs. Q: Any movement on assistant coaches? Nonis: The process is moving along. We’ve interviewed a number of people. There’s still more to do. So the jobs that are opening affect that a little bit. We’re hopeful the next 10-days-to-two weeks we’ll be able to reach some kind of conclusion on the assistants. A lot of it is different personalties, different strengths and trying to find the people we think would be the best fit. Q: Still thinking of moving up at the draft? Nonis: Yeah, we would depending on the price. We think, like I think most teams think, that it’s fairly deep in terms of quality, one through 10, 12, 14, so we believe we’re going to get a good player at eight. That said, if we can move up higher and the cost made sense we would do it. We’ve talked to a couple of teams and shared ideas of what would make sense right now. Right now we haven’t found anything that does, but if there’s a deal there that isn’t cost prohibitive we would look to do it, if not we’re happy to pick where we are. Q: Are there certain players you’re targeting that might be higher than eighth? Nonis: There’s a couple that we have more interest than others, but the gap isn’t huge. That’s why I think a lot of these picks are in play ... the teams that have them know if they drop down 5-6 spots, there’s still going to get a pretty good player. So there are a couple of guys we have our sights set on more than others, but we’re not going to blow our brains out to get there. Q: Expect free agency to be pretty crazy this year? Nonis: It is every year, I think there’s always that sprint the first 6-8 hours, and then after Day 1 it slows down a little bit. I think it will be the same. There’s some good players at free agency, there might be a few more added if there’s buyouts between now and then. It will be quick like it usually is, and then after that it’s a drawn out affair, with players trying to find their level in what their worth and teams looking for bargains at that point. Q: Bolland. Are you still hopeful of re-signing him? Nonis: Yeah, we’re hopeful. There’s work to do for sure. Dave is a quality guy and a good player and brings a lot of the things we want to keep with our team. There’s got to be a number that makes sense for both sides, and if there isn’t, then he can go to free agency. But we’re still in contact with Dave and our opinion of him hasn’t changed.
Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis talks draft, Bolland and trades
Toronto Sun | Jun 19