Conspiracy theorists connect Nonis to Burke
5/8/2008 12:34:02 AM
Leave it to the Toronto Maple Leafs to fire a head coach and have it be the footnote item on the headline of the day. With apologies to Paul Maurice, the fact that the Leafs have asked permission to talk to Dave Nonis in their search for a general manager is the big headline.
Conspiracy theorists amongst us will be saying it's obvious; the Leafs want to bring Nonis in to potentially replace Cliff Fletcher or work alongside him for a period of time and dangle him out there as the carrot to Brian Burke in Anaheim saying, "A year from now, Brian, your contract will be up. Your former right hand man is here. Come join us."
I think that's a plausible and possible scenario although I don't think it has been lined up that neatly just yet.
In one way, the timing of Maurice's firing makes no sense whatsoever because Fletcher is the interim general manager. Why make a big coaching decision on a day when you don't have to if, as advertised, they're bringing in a new man to replace Fletcher.
It leads me to believe that maybe Cliff's going to be around longer than we think. Yes, the Nonis thing is out there and that's a possibility and he could well be named general manager in a couple of weeks.
But I think there's also a scenario whereby Fletcher does the job for another year and this is his decision to replace the coach. Maybe he's been told, "go conduct business as you see fit and we'll let you know when the replacement's coming."