A hectic first week of the NHL season ended with a scary incident for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
General manager Dave Nonis spent Saturday night in hospital after falling ill during the team’s home opener against the Ottawa Senators. Nonis complained of feeling “fluish and unwell,” according to a spokesman for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and was attended to by the Leafs team doctor at Air Canada Centre during the second period.
As a precaution, the 47-year-old was later transferred to hospital for further testing. He was discharged on Sunday and said to be resting comfortably.
Toronto went on to win the game 5-4 in a shootout to improve to 3-0-0 on the year.
Nonis is in his second season as GM and senior vice-president of the Maple Leafs. His predecessor and former boss, Brian Burke, was in the ACC press box on Saturday night and stopped by for a quick visit prior to puck drop.
The GM’s health scare was reminiscent of an incident at the arena during the 2002 playoffs, when former Toronto coach Pat Quinn missed Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against Carolina after being taken to hospital. He was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
Earlier this week, Nonis signed star forward Phil Kessel to a $64-million, eight-year extension – the longest and richest contract in team history – just hours before Tuesday’s season opener at Montreal. He then watched his team edge the Canadiens 4-3 before travelling to Philadelphia and beating the Flyers 3-1 just 24 hours later.
In Saturday’s victory over Ottawa, a few of the off-season acquisitions by Nonis played key roles – Jonathan Bernier stopped all 15 shots he faced after replacing James Reimer in net while Mason Raymond had a three-point night and scored in the shootout. Dave Bolland also had a strong game and picked up his third point on the season.
The following statement was released by the Leafs on Sunday afternoon:
“During the second period of last night’s home opener, Toronto Maple Leafs senior vice president and general manager Dave Nonis felt unwell. He was assessed by team physicians at Air Canada Centre, and as a precaution, was asked to go to the hospital for further testing. He has progressed very well overnight and is expected to be discharged today.”