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Columnist: Leiweke’s bravado ‘laughable stuff’

Jul 18, 2013, 11:21 AM EDT

Tim Leiweke Getty Images

We’ve written a couple of times this week about Tim Leiweke and the bold statements he’s made in his first few days as president and CEO of MLSE, the parent company of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (See: “New Leafs prez has Stanley Cup parade-route planned” and “Leiweke wants to be a ‘hero’ in Toronto”.)

Well, today it was the media’s opportunity to respond to those statements, and at least one columnist, Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star, wasn’t impressed.

It’s laughable stuff for alert Toronto sports fans, who probably thought they’d experienced the living pinnacle in human hubris and ego when they lived through four years of Brian Burke. A little more than two weeks’ worth of Leiweke suggests that, in the cultivation of executive arrogance, the new guy in town is intent on scaling new heights.

Safe to say we can put Feschuk in the same camp as 94-year-old former Leaf Wally Stanowski, who said of Leiweke’s plans to rid the ACC hallways of pictures of the team’s more glorious past: “You want my opinion on it? Well, I think he’s lost his brain. You can’t bury the past.”

While Sportsnet’s Michael Grange didn’t exactly rip Leiweke, he did suggest the new MLSE boss was taking a risk by being so audacious.

There is no clear evidence that making those kinds of statements leads to those kinds of results. The biggest challenge MLSE faces is that all three of its teams play in leagues where spending on players is tightly controlled.

At the end of the day, the Leafs aren’t going to win a Stanley Cup unless they get the players to do it. So perhaps all this talk about Leiweke is a product of the summer, when there are no games to watch. But all of the above is just another element to add to the narrative of the richest team in the league that hasn’t won it all since 1967.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    I can’t take issue with the guy wanting to win but taking down the pictures is a stupid idea, plain and simple. When your team has such a rich history you’re supposed to respect that. As a fan I love seeing all those old pictures. Leave them be, they’re not the problem.

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:48 PM

      The leafs are an embarrassment and a joke around the league. The history is of losing and more losing. I can’t wait for a second team in the GTA so everyone who hates the leafs who live in toronto can finally cheer for a local area team.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Poor, poor trolling.

  2. 2qswing - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:57 AM


  3. 2qswing - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:58 AM


  4. av416 - Jul 18, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I don’t get this guy. I’d think that if you want to light a fire under your team AND become the cities hero you’d step out of the limelight since Leiweke doesn’t really have much to do in terms of the on ice product for the leafs, and furthermore instead of disrespecting the past glory of the franchise, cherish it and use it as a motivating force to get this young team fired up. By stripping the walls he is either telling the players to forget that they played for a historically great franchise because its their time to make their mark, or that no matter how great you are in this city you can and are replaceable. If I’m Tyler Bozak being told its my turn to create a legacy for the leafs organization to take over one’s left in the past…I’d be legitimately shaking in my boots. Classic Leaf executive, at least Burke had full control over player personel, this guy is in charge of how much we drive ticket prices up. SMH

    • kaptaanamerica - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM

      The franchise isn’t historically sucks, hasn’t won anything since since the league expanded.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        You should learn the NHL’s history before you act like you know it. The expansion in 1967 wasn’t the first time they expanded. You don’t even know what “Original Six” refers to. You think they were the first six NHL teams.

  5. tmlhockeyfan - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    It’s nice that he wants to build a winner and all… but over-confidence just tends to motivate the OTHER teams when they visit.

    I get trying to forget the past, but that stanley cup memorabilia is for the fans, not the players. Taking it down doesn’t make sense to me. If you want to relocate it away from the players hallway, go ahead, but the fans still want to see that stuff.

    Also, I’m not sure what he can do that is so different from past owners. The budget is the same as it’s always been for the Maple Leafs. Whatever the salary cap is, that’s what they can spend. No one can magically make a superstar appear on the roster.

  6. dueman - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    You media guys just can’t let this go eh? Only for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a winning attitude considered a crime!

    • hockeyrebel - Jul 18, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Can’t have a winning attitude when you can’t win! This guy has his head so far up his arse its almost back between his shoulders. Leafs ought to just move. Hear Windsor is more accustomed to winning hockey games than Toronto.

      But wait, that’s because they are near Detroit… Hockey Town!!!!!!

      • sunderlanding - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:07 PM

        Most teams don’t win. People just like to point out that Toronto doesn’t because they are the most iconic hockey team of all time. They pretty much support the rest of the league. While Detroit (who win a lot) still have trouble selling out the building.

      • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        What a bottom feeder. Windsor trying to latch on to Detroit’s success and claim it as their own. Detroit still has fewer cups than Toronto.

        Detroit = Hockey Town
        Toronto = Hockey Mecca

      • elrock7 - Jul 18, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        Geez I don’t think I have ever seen the Leafs lose to the Wings in the playoffs, and I cant wait to watch the Leafs take care of them this year. Wings probably wont make the playoffs in the east next year, too many weak spots.

        As far as “hockey town” that’s a bit of a joke, never could understand why they call themselves that, it is probably the number 3 sport in that deteriorating city.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM

        Toronto isn’t hockey Mecca.get a friggin clue, Montreal it’s the heart and soul of hockey.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        You need the clue, dude.

        No one pumps out more NHL players than Toronto and Ontario. Montreal and Quebec don’t even come close.

  7. logicalcomment - Jul 18, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    People just like to point out that Toronto doesn’t because they are the most iconic hockey team of all time


    1967 !!!!
    only 6 teams in the NHL at that time

    richest, yes . most iconic NO

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Jul 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Typical Leaf hater, has no clue about hockey history.

      Only six teams, unless you count Brooklyn Americans, Montreal Maroons, St Louis Eagles, Ottawa Senators v1, Philadelphia Quakers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Hamilton Tigers… Dumb haters like you think “Original Six” means the “First Six” teams. Educate yourself.

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