Nonis in charge

This time around Dave Nonis is the No. 1 man with the Maple Leaf. And he’s ready to stare down Brian Burke or anyone else that gets in the way.

This time around Dave Nonis is the No. 1 man with the Maple Leaf. And he’s ready to stare down Brian Burke or anyone else that gets in the way. The new general manager of Canada’s entry at the upcoming IIHF World Hockey Championship made it clear where his allegiances lie after officially taking the position Thursday. He’ll find himself going head-to-head with Burke, his boss with the Toronto Maple Leafs and a longtime friend who will be part of the U.S. management team. “This isn’t anything to do with myself against Brian or any kind of side bets or anything like that,” said Nonis. “The fact is that there’s a number of good teams — the U.S. will have an excellent team in this tournament, the Czechs always do, the Russians are the No. 1-ranked team in the world. It’s about putting the best Canadian team together and beating whoever we play.” The first opportunity he’s received from Hockey Canada is a big one. Nonis and assistants Rob Blake, Brad Pascall and Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray — another friend of Burke’s — will assemble a team looking to avenge the country’s embarrassing seventh-place finish from a year ago.