Leafs' improvement has to be an inside job

Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis (right) says a big trade or signing is not a certainty. The 'X' factor,...

Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis (right) says a big trade or signing is not a certainty. The 'X' factor, though, could be the role played by new team president Brendan Shanahan (left). (Reuters)

Rob Longley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:03 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Like every NHL general manager, Dave Nonis is hoping to draft a star of the future this weekend.

On Tuesday, he’d like to land an impact player via free agency, one that could help the team immediately.

And in between, the Leafs GM has his ear to ground for a trade that might help reverse last year’s late-season collapse.

But realistically, if the Leafs are to show significant improvement next season, Nonis believes the big key will come from within. And that starts with more accountability from those returning from last year’s roster.

In keeping with the team’s recent management style, there will be changes come opening night on Oct. 8. Not that the Leafs won’t be active, but don’t expect a major shakeup to result as things heat up in the most important week of the off-season.

“It’s important that we’re more committed and we play differently,” Nonis said on Thursday.


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