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Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move)

Aug 19, 2014, 1:23 PM EDT

Bit of a stunner out of Toronto, per CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

Leiweke, 57, became the president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in June of last year, after serving in the same position of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which owns the Los Angeles Kings.

Leiweke talked a big game upon taking the MLSE gig and rubbed some people the wrong way. After saying he wanted to be a “hero” in Toronto (adding he already had a Stanley Cup parade route planned), the Toronto Star called his comments “laughable,” adding that “in the cultivation of executive arrogance, the new guy in town is intent on scaling new heights.”

A month later, Leiweke caused more controversy when he ordered the removal of pictures of the Leafs’ Stanley Cup team from the dressing room hallway.

“I don’t want the players walking in the hallways of the Air Canada Centre and seeing pictures from 1962,” Leiweke told Bloomberg. “Get rid of those pictures and tell them, this is your legacy.”

He later apologized, saying the decision wasn’t directed at Leafs alumni but rather a challenge to the current squad.

Most recently, Leiweke was in the spotlight for his role in hiring Brendan Shanahan as Leafs’ president, a move he said would correct two things he felt Toronto didn’t have.

“I definitely sense that we lack an identity,” Lieweke said, per the Globe and Mail. “Right now we’re a team that lacks a direction. And we want to change that.”

UPDATE: Leiweke has shot down rumors of his move, per the Globe

Leiweke knocked down rumours on Tuesday that he is about to leave the country’s largest sports concern.

“It’s not true. One-hundred per cent not true. I’m fully committed to the season at hand,” Leiweke said.

He’s got two seasons on hand. He was referring to the Toronto Raptors basketball season, as he was in the midst of working on a new $30-million training facility for the club.

  1. buddysguys - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    he is leaving to go run the Clippers

  2. tgd1976 - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Could care less to be honest, his ego was a little big for my liking.

    • 1981titan - Aug 19, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      I understand that because his history with the Kings is terrible. They have done nothing since originally took over. Oh, Wait! They’ve won the Stanley Cup during two of the past three seasons, much to the chagrin of this Ducks Fan. If the fans & the Globe Mail run him out of town you deserve to exceed the Rangers 54 years of futility.

  3. withseidelinn - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    He’s very aggressive. Got Dafoe and Bradley for TFC which completely turned that franchise around. Has spoken on numerous occasions about bringing Durant to the Raptors and Stamkos to the Leafs. Also involved in trying to get the Bills to Toronto. Not saying any of those things will ever happen, but he does not shy away from very big and bold potential moves. I think that is a positive for a club like the Leafs. I would see it as a loss if he left.

  4. dumbassgreg - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    his wife hates winter and cold. only a matter of time till he gets a job in florida, California etc. or a new wife this is not living in cold weather city for much longer.

    • crik911 - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      He could always rent a sweet condo in Toronto and send the fam back to L.A. That would have some nice tax shelter benefits as well.

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