Nonis will be targeted

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:11 PM ET

TORONTO - One of the most important cogs on the Maple Leafs is likely to be wooed extensively this summer, but he wears a suit and tie, not a team jersey.

Senior vice-president of hockey operations David Nonis will be on the interview list of teams making changes at the top. The Tampa Bay Lightning just cleaned house this week and will soon be searching for a replacement, with some other clubs to follow.

Toronto general manager Brian Burke believes Nonis’ contract makes him fair game after the draft on June 25-26.

“If there are vacancies, I’d expect he’d be at the top of the list,” Burke said, in praise of his former assistant with the Canucks. Nonis was Vancouver’s GM after Burke went to the Anaheim Ducks.

“This guy is the best No. 2 in the business,” Burke added. “He’s been a No. 1, he’s very bright, tough as nails and when I had to step back (after Burke’s eldest son was killed in a February car accident), he jumped in and did everything.

“It would be a loss, but we built in some layering and that’s why (vice-president of hockey operations) Dave Poulin was signed.”

lance.hornby@sunmedia.ca


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