Leafs GM Dave Nonis spoke to the press, Friday after finalizing the roster. Here are some of his remarks.
On sending Morgan Rielly back to junior: “Morgan played pretty well in a short camp but he wasn’t given any opportunity to play exhibition games. We need to get ready to play and it’s pretty tough to put an 18-year-old player in the lineup without seeing him play against NHL competition. He’s had a good year to date. Depending how far his junior team goes there’s a chance you’ll see Morgan in Toronto.”
On goaltenders James Reimer and Ben Scrivens: “Do I like our goaltending in terms of quality? Are they capable? The answer is yes. Do we have a veteran presence in terms of experience? The answer is no. That’s the concern that we have. It’s not that we don’t think they can play. It’s up to them to play at an NHL calibre. Our players have to play as hard as they can in front of them. If we can upgrade and get more experience we will but not at the expense of moving some young players who we think will be very important to this team moving forward.”
On trading Matt Lombardi and demoting Tim Connolly: “When we started this camp we said if you play well enough you’re going to stay. That has to be the message to the players moving forward. If you are going to play well enough you are going to play regardless of your contract, regardless of how much money you make or how little money you make. We feel that’s been a big part of the competitive nature of camp so far.”
On sending Matt Frattin back to the Marlies:
“Matt Frattin is an NHL player who is going to be playing in the American League next week. It’s going to be up to him to change that…We’re still very high on Matt Frattin. He’s going to be a good player in this league. “
On keeping 27-year-old defenceman Mike Kostka: “First of all Mike Kostka’s gotten better every year he’s played pro hockey. He’s not a guy who has leveled out and looked like he is going to be an American League player. He’s had the benefit of playing for half a season and he came here ready to play and challenge for a job. He doesn’t look nervous; he’s very good with the puck. Does that translate into an NHL defenceman? We’re probably going to find out.”