TORONTO – Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis was content with his labors when he met with reporters in an offseason July press conference.
Just 53 days earlier, his team blew a three-goal lead in the third period of a Game 7 of vs. Boston. Instead of basking in the glow of Toronto's first playoff appearance since 2003-04, Nonis had to ponder what went wrong in that first-round exit, and what needed to be done to make sure it didn't happen again.
So, he traded for Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier and Chicago Blackhawks center Dave Bolland, and signed New Jersey Devils right wing David Clarkson to a seven-year, $36.75 million free agent contract.
Suddenly, a good Maple Leafs team that had a bad ending, was a better team with renewed vigor.
"I've done what I can do," Nonis said. "We're pretty happy. I think we'll be pretty competitive. I can tell you (coach Randy Carlyle) is happy with the options we have in a lot of areas."
Toronto opens vs. Montreal on Oct. 1.