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Dave Nonis

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Status: Toronto Maple Leafs GM.

DOB: May 25, 1966 In: Burnaby, BC

First Hockey Memory: "Well, I had two older brothers, so, chasing them around the basement. When they were playing hockey ahead of me, trying to keep up with them in the basement and the back alley."

Hockey Inspirations: "I think, again, I was very fortunate to have both of my brothers play ahead of me, wanting to keep up with them. It was kind of a driving force when I was young - the Vancouver Canucks just came into existence and there was a lot of NHL buzz around the city. And it was just a sport we gleaned onto very quickly. It was very important to us. It was all we ever really wanted to do."

Last Book Read: "I re-read The Perfect Storm."

Greatest Sports Moment: "As a player it would have been probably going to the Final Four in Lake Placid. With NHL team it was probably a couple. I would say going to the Stanley Cup final early in my career in '94 with Vancouver. And then getting my first general manager job in Vancouver. And then, probably more importantly, getting my last one here in Toronto (Jan. 2013)."

Most Painful Moment: "Would probably be the realization that I wasn't going to play in the NHL. And then, first time losing your job (2008) was a difficult time for me, a difficult time for anyone in this sport. That was a tough one to swallow."

Most Memorable Goal: "Probably it would have been (Paul) Henderson's goal. I remember we were at the elementary school and our whole school was able to watch those games - take time out from class. And that one still sticks in my head, as it does for most Canadians."

First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: "The first one I ever met was Stan Mikita. One of my coaches when I was playing at Burnaby was friends with him. (He) brought me to the rink to watch a morning skate and I met him then."

Favorite Uniforms: "I think the Original Six, every Original Six team has an outstanding uniform. I would say ours when we wear our retros. They're pretty special."

Closest Hockey Friend(s): "All the guys I played with I try to remain fairly close with. I think that's one great thing about this sport is that people, even if you don't talk to them for months or even a year, when you get back together with them there's always things to talk about. I don't think it's necessarily the only one, but this sport in general is pretty special that way."

Funniest Players Encountered: "Oh, there's a few of those too. I played in Maine with Mike McHugh, who's very, very funny. Early in my career in Vancouver with guys like Garth Butcher and Craig Coxe were pretty funny characters. There's a lot of those guys that kind of churn the room up and keep things light."

Fiercest Competitors Encountered: "Probably Stan Smyl really was a player that never let up. Wasn't the most skilled player on the team, but was generally the hardest working. Trevor Linden, I felt, was always a guy that gave everything he had to the team and the community. There's a lot of guys, again, that make their living by giving everything they have. And they're not always the most skilled players."

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "I'm sure I do have one, but not off the top of my head. I probably blocked that one out (laughs)."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "For me, I always liked lacrosse. We played it as a kid. Thought it was a sport that lended itself to creating good hockey players. Still enjoy watching it both at the amateur and pro level."

Three Athletes You Like To Watch And Follow: "I generally follow hockey fairly closely, but I still love the upper end athletes in other sports. I was able to watch LeBron James courtside, which was amazing. I think to watch players like Nadal and Federer, who are kind of at the peak of their sport, you always want to watch athletes that reach the top and see how they get there."

Strangest Game: "There's been games where the power went out in Boston Garden because of faulty wiring or rats - depending on who you listen to. Games have been delayed because of fog. There's strange moments in every sport. You saw that in the Super Bowl. But you learn just to roll with it."

Personality Qualities Most Admired: "Character, effort, people who are born with God-given skill or not, but sometimes people who become leaders become high-end athletes. Those people often become successful because of their work ethic and character. So that stands out the most."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski's second book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" is available on Malinowski is the creator of two websites: and



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