NEW YORK — It was a day where Bryan Murray told reporters that his captain, Jason Spezza, had asked for a trade out of Ottawa. It was a day where Dale Tallon revealed the five candidates for the Florida Panthers head coaching job.
It was a day where Dave Nonis didn’t want to say much of anything.
“Why do you want to talk to me?” he said after Wednesday’s GMs meeting wrapped up.
These are awfully quiet times around the Toronto Maple Leafs and that’s not something you can say very often. To hear the general manager tell it, the organization hasn’t made any decisions on how it will approach the fast-approaching off-season.
Organizational meetings are planned for next week and Nonis expects them to include a plan for handling pending free agents Dave Bolland, Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond, Jay McClement and Paul Ranger. Each of those players is free to walk away if they don’t receive a new contract by July 1.
“All of our UFA’s are still on the board for us,” said Nonis. “There’s not one that we would cross off the list yet and say we’re not going to bring that player back. We want to spend some time going over them.”
Another player that warrants a look is feisty winger Leo Komarov. He spent the lockout-shortened 2013 season with the Leafs before returning to Moscow Dynamo in the KHL this year on a $2-million deal — believed to be about twice what Toronto was willing to pay at the time.
Komarov is anxious to return to the NHL again and the Leafs have some interest.
“We’ll see,” said Nonis. “I’d put him down on the list. Leo was good for us, but there’s a dollar figure that makes sense for everybody. The reason he went back to Russia was about money. We would like to have kept him this year, but the dollar figure didn’t make sense.
“We’ll have to revisit it.”
The GM didn’t sound particularly hopeful. The financial fit might not be there.
“He’s a good person, a good player,” said Nonis. “But, like there are for all levels of players, there’s a number that makes sense and a number that won’t.”
It is expected to be a busy few weeks around the league with big names like Spezza and Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler available on the trade market.
A few GMs took the opportunity to chat during breaks in Wednesday’s meeting, but a flurry of moves doesn’t seen imminent. Nonis has been involved in some discussions of his own and thinks teams are still getting their houses in order.
“As things stand today I think there’s a lot of teams that are still going through internal meetings, budget meetings, pro scouting meetings,” said Nonis. “There’s been far more discussion over the last week than there was over the last month, but I don’t get the sense that anyone’s close to a deal.”
As for the June 27-28 draft itself, Nonis indicated that there was “more than one” top prospect that might tempt the Leafs to move up from the eighth spot to grab.
“We would consider moving up or down,” said Nonis. “I think it’s that kind of draft. … There’s very few people ahead of us that said they wouldn’t move their pick because you’ve got a pretty good chance of getting a good player at (No. 8) or (No. 4).”