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The Trouble With Hiring Dave Nonis as Upper Management — Iginla Brought In

May 22, 2023, 9:17 PM ET [29 Comments]
Trevor Neufeld
Calgary Flames Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Per Frank Seravalli, the Calgary Flames will be bringing in one-time Leafs and Canucks General Manager Dave Nonis into the fold in a senior management position.

Nonis, 56, served as assistant general manager under Bob Murray from the 2019-20 season until February of the 2021-22 season. He worked as a scout and team consultant for four seasons prior to that; all with Anaheim. The Ducks parted ways with Dave following Murray’s resignation.

The move comes off as a bit “Old Boy’s Club” by President of Hockey Operations Don Maloney. Darryl Sutter took on a team consultant position for most of two seasons (19-20, 20-21) following Nonis’ promotion to AGM.

To be fair, none of us were privy to Dave’s interview. Most of what the public has to go off of is his track record as a general manager in the National Hockey League. Go ahead and ask a hardcore Leafs or Canucks fan about that record — or just review the write-up of his body of work linked at the bottom.

The other reported addition is Jarome Iginla. A little less “Old Boy’s Club”, but still fairly “Old Boy’s Club”.

Iginla, 45, has been coaching U15 hockey in Kelowna for the last two seasons at the RINK Hockey Academy.

A couple of thoughts here.

Nonis appears to be an ownership hire. That’s fine, but you have to wonder how much authority soon-to-be General Manager Craig Conroy will have.

If Craig has to run his moves by Dave Nonis then we’re in serious trouble. Dave has a horrible track record in terms of pro scouting evaluation. He could make a case for himself to win a Nobel Prize in the field of Pro Hockey, but he’s still the guy that negotiated and signed David Clarkson to a seven year, 36.75 million dollar contract. He’s still the man responsible for the worst trade deadline in Canucks history in 2006.

Three teams have shown unprecedented success by promoting a former player to GM then giving them full autonomy of the organization. Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche, Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Bill Guerin and the Minnesota Wild. Those three executives have had to make painful moves that ownership may not necessarily have loved.

Trading a former first overall pick in Matt Duchene? Buying out the massive term remaining on Ryan Suter and Zach Parise? Craig Conroy is going to need that kind of autonomy to find a way out of the salary cap chaos that Brad Treliving and Murray Edwards’ UFA signings have left the organization in.

If Nonis is there to advise on process, negotiation, and red tape; so be it. If he’s carrying any veto power — the Craig Conroy Era is doomed to fail before it has even begun.

Trevor Neufeld


Stats via eliteprospects.com.
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