Leiweke’s Path to the Parade
(Photo credit: cbc.ca)
Tim Leiweke is making a name for himself as the new rock star C.E.O of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. Recently he has been in the headlines, making many quotable statements including saying he has planned the Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup parade route.
Leiweke has a plan to bring the parade to Toronto and has the problem with the Leafs laid out in his head. In an interview with Bloomberg Leiweke said, “We need the accountability. The money is there, the resources are there. We have the deepest owners in these three leagues but what we don’t have yet is a culture, and an accountability about today, and not nineteen sixty seven.”
Leiweke as an outsider to Toronto sports openly questions the Leafs focus on tradition, “I don’t want the players walking in the hallways of the Air Canada Centre and seeing pictures from 1962,” Leiweke said. “Get rid of those pictures and tell them, this is your legacy.”
Many old school Leafs fans are up in arms about the perceived neglect of history however if history is being used as a crutch then putting the focus on the present will help create a culture of winning for the Leafs.
Leiweke is not afraid to make changes either. He quickly got rid of long time Toronto Raptors General Manager Brian Colangelo and replaced him with NBA executive of the year Masaj Ujiri. Leiweke hinted The Raptors are moving towards blowing up the team.
“I didn’t get along with the GM of the basketball team, so we brought in somebody who sees the world the same way I do,” Leiweke said. “We may ultimately have to, excuse my English, suck to be good.”
Leiweke seems to be on the same page with current Leafs general manager Dave Nonis “Nonis and I are absolutely, 100 per cent on the same page, Leiweke said That really pleased me a lot, because it was something I wasn’t sure about when I came in.”
Cathal Kelley appeared on TSN radio after writing about his in depth interview with Leiweke in the Toronto Star. “I understand now why he is one of the most powerful people in North America,” Kelley said. “He has boundless, boundless faith in himself. I really think he thinks he can do it where as other guys know they have to say they can do it.”
Many people compare the bold statements of Leiweke to former Leafs general manager Brian Burke however Kelley disagrees with that notion.
“Burke is a very bombastic person,” Kelley said. “I think with Leiweke this is all very calculated. There was an agenda at work on Monday, and what I think he was trying to do on Monday was to burn all bridges to the past. He gets to be the hero, if one of these three clubs do well Tim Leiweke did that.”
Kelley did leave a very interesting quote out of his article, “He said I realize if this doesn’t work out they’ll hang me.”
Leiweke knows the scrutiny of working under the microscope of the Toronto sports market. He wants the success or failure of MLSE to ride on him. There have been similar promises of success in the past and it is hard to not take what Leiweke is saying without a grain of salt.