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Leafs minority owner: “The way this year ended was unacceptable.”

Apr 9, 2012, 9:10 PM EDT

Maple Leafs fans AP

Lawrence M. Tanenbaum, who owns a minority stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, bought newspaper space so that he could deliver an apology letter to Leafs fans.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs are a public trust with the greatest fans in the world,” Tanenbaum said in his signed letter. “We have fallen short of everyone’s expectations, and for that we are sorry. We take full responsibility for how this team performs on the ice, and we make no excuses. The way this year ended was unacceptable.”

In what was probably a nod to Leafs GM Brian Burke, Tanenbaum also said that the “ownership believes in the plan for the Maple Leafs.”

Toronto earned just seven victories in their final 29 games to go from a serious competitor for a playoff spot to a team with a shot at the top overall draft pick. Now that Florida has made the playoffs, the Leafs have the longest active playoff drought in the NHL. They do still have a relatively young core and their situation might not be as dire as their late season collapse would lead you to believe. Still, this will be a very important summer for Burke and the Leafs.

  1. farvefromover - Apr 9, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    how about the other years?

    • polegojim - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Amen – broken franchise from front office to locker room.

      Sad – I love it when the Leafs are good… I just forgot what that looks like.

  2. psujay - Apr 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    About time someone admitted it.

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    This guy had the audacity to show his face at the last home game of the season. I can’t believe nobody poured a $64 beer on his head.

  4. nobandwagoners - Apr 10, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    It’s easy to make nice platitudes. Letting the team (and GM) actually BUILD a proper team vs. attempts at quick fixes with ‘big’ signings would be a start. But the fickle Toronto fan base wouldn’t (and won’t) stand for a true rebuild as it’d take too long. With hindsight though, maybe management should have actually got on board and actually have pursued a proper rebuild.

  5. nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    Actually, we Leafs fans like the bright side of the current plan, which enables us to avoid the pain suffered by fans of 8 other teams of enduring a first-round playoff loss. And we can enjoy the distinction of owning the triple crown of the NHL’s longest current playoff drought, longest current Finals drought (longest ever, I might add), and longest current Cup drought. How many teams have ever held all three at the same time?

  6. east96st - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Hey, at least, you guys got an apology. In Columbus, all we ever get from the owners is the middle finger.

    • govtminion - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Look on the bright side. Fans in Atlanta got moving truck exhaust blown in their faces.

      • east96st - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        1) I’m not so sure too many people in Columbus would be sorry to see this front office and ownership team go.
        2) Columbus had to sign over all future casino revenue to keep the Jackets until 2039. While I hope I’m wrong, based on past performance, that means between now and when the truck exhaust gets blown in Columbus face in 2039, the Jackets will manage two playoff appearances where they will be swept 4-0. I’d rather have the casino revenue, to be honest.

      • govtminion - Apr 10, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        Well now you’re just being silly. You can’t honestly think the Jackets will make TWO playoff appearances by 2039, can you? One maybe, but TWO?

        (Assuming ownership doesn’t start acting like they’re serious about having a hockey team, of course.)

  7. babar61 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Fickle leaf fans? What are you talking about? I dont even like the leafs but that’s an ignorant statement. Tickets for the last game at the ACC this year started at $450 and they still sold out. They could never make the playoffs again and they would still sell out every night. Their problem is that they are too loyal.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. They’ve missed the playoffs every year since the lockout anyway, they very well could have torn the team down and rebuilt it during that time and nobody would’ve known the difference.

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