Dave Nonis: Grading His Every Trade As Toronto Maple Leafs GM


Dave Nonis was the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager for only two seasons. In that time, he made 21 trades with varying degrees of success, or should I say varying degrees of failures.

Dave Nonis is no longer the GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. There’s definitely a reason for that. Most of his trades have never worked out as well as his free agent signings. Out of the trades that Nonis has made as the Leafs GM, only three players were full-time Leafs last season and have a good chance of staying in Toronto.

He has made a few good trades but that doesn’t fix anything. If the trades he made around and at the Trade Deadline workout, the credit will still probably go to Brendan Shanahan.

Let’s take a look at the trades that Nonis made, starting with the first one he made.

Leafs acquire 2014 4th Round Pick (J.J. Piccinich) from Arizona for Matthew Lombardi

This trade is still kind of a wash. Lombardi only played 21 games with the Coyotes in the 2012-13 season before being traded to the Anaheim Ducks. He currently plays in Switzerland. Piccinich played for Boston University this past season, making it all the way to the Frozen Four Finals.

Grade: D+

Leafs acquire 2014 4th Round Pick (Nicholas Magyar) from Edmonton for Mike Brown

As you’ll see, the Leafs traded a fourth-round pick in 2014 more than a few times. Brown played for San Jose this season. The fourth-rounder would be traded again a month later.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Kevin Marshall from Washington for Nicolas Deschamps

This was and still is an AHL trade. Marshall is still playing with the Toronto Marlies. Deschamps split this season between the AHL, ECHL, SM-liiga, and Austria.

Grade: D-

Leafs acquire Ryan Lasch and 2014 7th Round Pick (Ondrej Kase) from Anaheim for David Steckel

Lasch played this past season in Sweden and Finland. The pick was traded back to Anaheim eight months later. Steckel played for the Norfolk Adirimals this season.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Ryan O’Byrne from Colorado for 2014 4th Round Pick (Nicholas Magyar)

The Leafs would take the fourth-rounder they acquired from Edmonton and send it to the Avalanche. What did O’Byrne do for the Leafs? Play eight games and not return after the season. He played in Switzerland this season.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles for 2015 2nd Round Pick, Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin and cash

Hey look a player that’s still with the Leafs! While Bernier still has questions about him, he’s still a good option for the Leafs during their rebuild. This trade would really work out for the Kings as they sent the second-rounder and Frattin to Columbus to acquire Marian Gaborik.

Grade: B-

Leafs acquire Dave Bolland from Chicago for 2013 2nd Round Pick (Carl Dahlstrom), 2013 4th Round Pick (Fredrik Bergvik) and 2014 4th Round Pick (Fredrik Olofsson)

Well, this one didn’t workout. Bolland had an injury-filled one season with the Leafs, only playing 23 games. He signed with Florida in the off-season. None of the picks have yet to make their NHL debut.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire 2014 4th Round Pick (Ville Husso) from Calgary for Joe Colborne

I lost count of how many times I heard that the Leafs could use a player like Joe Colborne this season. Well, Colborne is currently playing in the playoffs, while the Leafs traded away the pick they acquired for him.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz from Anaheim for Jesse Blacker, 2014 2nd Round Pick (Marcus Pettersson) and 2014 7th Round Pick (Ondrej Kase)

Another trade that has at least sort of has worked out in favor of the Leafs. Holland has played pretty well for the Leafs and should be a reliable piece for the Leafs while they rebuild. Blacker plays for the Florida Panthers AHL team, while both the picks are still playing overseas.

Grade: B-

Leafs acquire Tim Gleason from Carolina for John Michael Liles and Dennis Robertson

Well, how’s this for an end result? All three players involved in this deal are all still part of the Hurricanes organization. Gleason returned to Carolina after being bought out last off-season.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Brandon Kozun from Los Angeles for Andrew Crescenzi

While this was an AHL deal at the time, Kozun has played his way onto the Leafs roster. Kozun’s speed is an asset the Leafs don’t seem to have much of in their bottom six. He should be a full-time Leaf next season.

Grade: B-

Leafs acquire Cam Abney and rights to Teemu Hartikainen for Mark Fraser

This trade hasn’t worked out for either team. Fraser played for the New Jersey Devils this season, while Abney is a free agent and Hartikainen is still playing in Russia.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Roman Polak from St. Louis for Carl Gunnarsson and 2014 4th Round Pick (Ville Husso)

Polak has become a leader on the Leafs defence and a good partner for Morgan Rielly. However, he will only be with the Leafs for one more season more than likely.

Grade: C+

Leafs acquire Matt Frattin from Columbus for Jerry D’Amigo and 2015 Conditional 7th Round Pick

The Leafs re-acquired Frattin in part to recapture some of the “magic” of their playoff appearance in 2012-13. Well, Frattin spent most of the season with the Marlies, not really helping the Leafs at all. D’Amigo was traded to the Buffalo Sabres mid-season.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire 2016 Conditional Draft Pick from Tampa Bay for Carter Ashton and David Broll

This wasn’t so much of a trade as it was a giveaway. Ashton has to play 15 games with the Lightning next season in order for the Leafs to acquire a seventh-rounder.

Grade: F

Leafs acquire Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and 2015 1st Round Pick from Nashville for Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli

The best trade that Nonis made for the on-ice product. Jokinen was traded for another potential asset, Leipsic is playing pretty well with the Marlies and the draft is deep so the Leafs could end up with two very good prospects in the first round. Franson and Santorelli were not going to return so to get the return they got was pretty good.

Grade: A-

Leafs acquire Zach Sill, 2015 4th Round Pick and 2016 2nd Round Pick from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik

Nonis did another good job with the return for Winnik. While Sill will probably not be back next season, acquiring two picks is pretty good for a rental player.

Grade: B+

Leafs acquire T.J. Brennan from Chicago for Spencer Abbott

Nonis realized a mistake with this trade. The Leafs let Brennan leave last off-season after a great season with the Marlies. So what he did was trade one of the Marlie’s top offensive players in order to re-acquire him.

Grade: C-

Leafs acquire Nathan Horton from Columbus for David Clarkson

After fixing a small mistake, Nonis would work a miracle to fix his biggest mistake. The Leafs can handle paying Horton to not play. They couldn’t handle to pay Clarkson what they were the way he was playing.

Grade: A+

Leafs acquire Eric Brewer and 2016 5th Round Pick from Anaheim for Korbinian Holzer

Hard to grade this one. Brewer won’t be back. We’ll have to wait another year to even find out who the pick is. Holzer might not stick with the Ducks with their depth on the blue line.

Grade: C

Leafs acquire Joakim Lindstrom and 2016 6th Round Pick from St. Louis for Olli Jokinen

The same situation as the previous one. However, even if the Leafs have to wait another year for the pick, it could become a fourth-rounder if the Blues make the Stanley Cup Finals this season. Getting a fourth-rounder for Jokinen would be a great move.

Grade: C+

There you have it. As you can see, Nonis’ best moves came after the decision to rebuild by Shanahan. That says a lot about the type of general manager that he was.

Next: Connor McLeaf?

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