Dave Nonis made it very clear on Wednesday: No player is untouchable.
In an interview with Brady and Lang on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Wednesday morning, the Leafs assistant general manager said he doesn’t believe any player is off-limits when fielding trade offers.
“I’ve always felt the word ‘untouchable’ is really ridiculous. At some point, there’s a deal that would make sense for everyone,” Nonis said.
Nonis went on to say that the Leafs would have a difficult time moving cornerstone players such as Dion Phaneuf or Phil Kessel, but would always be willing to listen to any sort of offer.
“We couldn’t see ourselves moving (Phil) Kessel or (Dion) Phaneuf. They are players that would be difficult to move. Teams that have gotten better in this league through trade have always listened on virtually every player,” Nonis explained. “But it doesn’t mean you’re shopping players — always listening on every player. There (are) very few players in this league that are untouchable on every team.”
Nonis made the comments when asked about the Bobby Ryan trade rumours, but refused to comment on whether the Ducks had contacted the Leafs about a trade.
“I would never talk about other players on other teams. That’s something for you guys to do.”
Nonis has been pleased with the team’s performance on its recent road trip and attributed a lot of the success to the play of starting goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.
“He had some tough starts but he never complained and continued to work hard. He’s been on a bit of a role. He’s done it before where he stripped off seven games without losing. (He’s) been excellent, has played well in stretches, in a bit of a zone. It’s not lucky, he’s been very good.”
The Leafs, riding a three-game winning streak, are set to begin a home-and-home series against the Boston Bruins Wednesday night in Toronto.
“We’ve had two below average games against them. You can get by playing average against some teams in this league, but not the Stanley Cup champions. It seems to be a team that always gets up for us. No nights off. If we’re not ready to play, it’ll be a long night,” Nonis said.