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Macleans.ca: Interview with Tim Leiweke (President and CEO of MLSE)

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05-03-2013, 02:28 PM
  #1
hockeywiz542
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Macleans.ca: Interview with Tim Leiweke (President and CEO of MLSE)

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/05/03/o...o-for-the-cup/

Quote:
Q: Running MLSE is a big-deal job in Canada, but it doesnít have anywhere near the scope of your last gig at AEG. Why did you want this position?

A: Well, neither did AEG when we started it, and so I never look at things that are fully baked and get excited about being a part of that. You always want to be a part of something that has great potential. And I am absolutely certain that thereís growth with the Maple Leafs, and itís called the Stanley Cup. I think all would agree that there are better days ahead for the Raptors and that we have our work cut out, and I like that challenge. I think that TFC is a work in progress and, again, the best days are ahead of it. I happen to believe that there are a lot of opportunities there to grow that brand and to grow the company and, in particular, for the three teams to have much more success.

Q: Is there one of those teams you think should be your priority coming in?

A: My number 1 passion at AEG was always the Kings, so the Maple Leafs are obviously a brand that gets me very excited, but I think they probably are further along than the other two teams. The Raptors are the team that needs the most help: they havenít been in the playoffs in six years and I think thatís a trend that we have to change. So Iíll probably spend more time on the Raptors to begin with, but from a passion standpoint, I love the National Hockey League. One of the major reasons I took this is the platform that is the Maple Leafs, and I canít even imagine whatís going to happen when we win that Stanley Cup. And thatís our goal.

Q: Youíve said youíre most interested in creating a championship mentality. How do you do that?

A: Well, I was blessed to be a part of the Lakers organization, so I learned about a championship mentality and environment from Dr. Jerry Buss and from Jerry West and from Phil Jackson, and I studied that, I consumed that, and we built that into everything else we did at AEG. There was an expectation within our organization to win championships, and thatís what we have to do now with all of the teams in the Maple Leaf Sports family. I think, first and foremost, itís hard work and being dedicated to doing what it takes to win. Itís all you think about. We are going to absolutely put those trophies front and centre and say, ďNow, what do we have to do to win íem?Ē

Q: Is there anything in particular that youíre going to do to try and sound out the fans, or to interact with them?

A: Go sit with them. I bought season tickets with the Kings and sat in the bowl with the fans and heard what they said, good and bad. Theyíre going to see me, theyíre going to hear from me. I will try to understand what theyíre thinking about, and they will have access to me. Iíve been in sports my whole life, so Iím not your typical CEO who sits in the tower; I will get involved. And my guess is, Iíll have an even more passionate group of fans than we had in L.A.

Q: Thereís already been muttering about an American running an iconic Canadian franchise. Is there anything youíre doing to prepare yourself for life in the Canadian fishbowl?

A: My future son-in-law is a Canadian and I hope Iíll end up being a Canadian, too. I understand I have to prove myself and Iím prepared to do that. At the end of the day, what theyíll see is my citizenship will be a work in progress, but my heart will not be: I am committed to Toronto, to Maple Leaf Sports and these teams, and to that city. I donít know how to be halfway, and so, first and foremost, my heart has already moved.

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05-03-2013, 02:35 PM
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Hurt
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Refreshing to hear from someone in a position such as Leiweke's.

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05-03-2013, 02:46 PM
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05-03-2013, 02:48 PM
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This is the change in direction this organization has needed. I hope we look back at this time as when it all swung upward.

The only thing he could do to win me over further is return our crest and jerseys to the ones that fortified this team in NHL history. To stop using the current logo; which has seen no success in over 40 years.

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05-03-2013, 03:09 PM
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Well can't say anything bad about his attitude coming in. I sure hope it helps push things in the right direction.

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05-03-2013, 03:51 PM
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i hate the american questions.... like idc who is running the show as long as we get some rings in this city

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05-03-2013, 04:00 PM
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We never got our rebuild and IMO that is why until we build this team properly it will be a very average team who is going to need alot of luck to succeed. I'm not necessarily thinking tank but something's need to be done

Just my two cents

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05-03-2013, 04:18 PM
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Leiweke's job is already done for him. Does it really matter what he says when he comes in and takes the job? Not a chance.

The Leafs make the playoffs for the first time in 9 years and spike ticket prices by 75%.

The Raptors don't make the playoffs in 6 years and are near the top half of attendance per game (13th).

TFC are a brutal franchise and can go nowhere but up, so technically his responses are correct.

What sort of accountability is he going to be held too? He's going to make a ton of profit with the Leafs, regardless of if they make the playoffs or not and the Raptors turnaround from year to year gives you a certain excitement and clouds the fact of how awful they are that they can't compete in the East. I still love the Toronto teams, but I really don't see anything changing. I'm still going to pay the $10 a beer at Jays games and whatever it is for a beer at the Leafs game.

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05-03-2013, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooleboy View Post
i hate the american questions.... like idc who is running the show as long as we get some rings in this city
Same here, popped up with Burke, popped up with Wilson. Happens all the time with a new hire with the Raptors. These reporters need to grow a pair and stop acting so sensitive.

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05-03-2013, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayStBullies View Post
This is the change in direction this organization has needed. I hope we look back at this time as when it all swung upward.

The only thing he could do to win me over further is return our crest and jerseys to the ones that fortified this team in NHL history. To stop using the current logo; which has seen no success in over 40 years.
Couldn't disagree more. And a logo has nothing whatsoever to do with success.

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05-03-2013, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs87 View Post
We never got our rebuild and IMO that is why until we build this team properly it will be a very average team who is going to need alot of luck to succeed. I'm not necessarily thinking tank but something's need to be done

Just my two cents
I couldn't disagree more. This team doesn't need to rebuild, we've got the core already in place, just keep developing, drafting so on and so forth. Rielly is coming Kadri is still developing, Biggs is only what? 19-20 years old? Percy I can go on, plus we have our first this year. If you don't think this team is being built properly then you aren't paying attention.

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05-03-2013, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showtime8 View Post
Leiweke's job is already done for him. Does it really matter what he says when he comes in and takes the job? Not a chance.

The Leafs make the playoffs for the first time in 9 years and spike ticket prices by 75%.

The Raptors don't make the playoffs in 6 years and are near the top half of attendance per game (13th).

TFC are a brutal franchise and can go nowhere but up, so technically his responses are correct.

What sort of accountability is he going to be held too? He's going to make a ton of profit with the Leafs, regardless of if they make the playoffs or not and the Raptors turnaround from year to year gives you a certain excitement and clouds the fact of how awful they are that they can't compete in the East. I still love the Toronto teams, but I really don't see anything changing. I'm still going to pay the $10 a beer at Jays games and whatever it is for a beer at the Leafs game.
His first passion is basketball...that should say it all right there. His focus is the Raptors, anyone who thinks he came in because he wants to make money off the leafs is off their rocker and isn't reading the situation. If he wanted to make money he would've just stuck with AEG. He has a huge passion for basketball and he looks at the Raptors as a his next challenge. WTF do the Leafs have to do with anything? I could take the job and make money. It's a money maker for anyone, come on!

With saying that, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Phil Jackson come here as President, Leiweke came here to make big changes in Raptorland

Seriously I don't understand how anyone could be pessimistic about this hiring, he was the top candidate for the job from the beginning and we got him.


Last edited by Stats01: 05-03-2013 at 09:08 PM.
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05-03-2013, 09:30 PM
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so happy I posted months ago as him being a pipe dream

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05-03-2013, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stats01 View Post
I couldn't disagree more. This team doesn't need to rebuild, we've got the core already in place, just keep developing, drafting so on and so forth. Rielly is coming Kadri is still developing, Biggs is only what? 19-20 years old? Percy I can go on, plus we have our first this year. If you don't think this team is being built properly then you aren't paying attention.
I can see the argument you are making but, we need a big center, a big shutdown defenceman and a winger who can create space and be effective. It seems like we are just throwing random pieces together. Look at the depth of the big competitive teams then look at us and tell where I haven't been paying attention

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05-03-2013, 09:44 PM
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but it shouldn't just be about basketball?

MLSE owns
the Rock: often in finals/win
soccer: ......
Leafs: money maker but DESPERATE for a championship
Raptors: money makers but not very good (so i've heard).

shouldn't it be: get a championship for the Leafs before we turn 100 in 4 years AND help the raptors?

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05-03-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs87 View Post
I can see the argument you are making but, we need a big center, a big shutdown defenceman and a winger who can create space and be effective. It seems like we are just throwing random pieces together. Look at the depth of the big competitive teams then look at us and tell where I haven't been paying attention
Well the way you make it sound everything is wrong with this team. Case in point " Looks like we're throwing random pieces together." To you it seems that way..to you

You do realize this team hasn't made the playoffs in 9 years and we have played only 1 game right? What the hell were you expecting?

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05-03-2013, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy Joy View Post
but it shouldn't just be about basketball?

MLSE owns
the Rock: often in finals/win
soccer: ......
Leafs: money maker but DESPERATE for a championship
Raptors: money makers but not very good (so i've heard).

shouldn't it be: get a championship for the Leafs before we turn 100 in 4 years AND help the raptors?
I'm not saying it's ALLLL going to be for the Raptors but his main focus will be about the Raptors.

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05-03-2013, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stats01 View Post
Well the way you make it sound everything is wrong with this team. Case in point " Looks like we're throwing random pieces together." To you it seems that way..to you

You do realize this team hasn't made the playoffs in 9 years and we have played only 1 game right? What the hell were you expecting?
Actually if you look at my last posts I was expecting nothing more then what happened. They are inexperience and next game should be much better, but your point about the team making the playoffs finally is pretty weak considering Florida made it last year. I think this team will make the playoffs but not make much noise if we keep adding to this team, instead of making a lot of big changes. This core we have is very weak. We have a couple good players but alot of overall ineffective players

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05-03-2013, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs87 View Post
Actually if you look at my last posts I was expecting nothing more then what happened. They are inexperience and next game should be much better, but your point about the team making the playoffs finally is pretty weak considering Florida made it last year. I think this team will make the playoffs but not make much noise if we keep adding to this team, instead of making a lot of big changes. This core we have is very weak. We have a couple good players but alot of overall ineffective players
could i have some names please? which core pieces do you consider "overall ineffective"?

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05-03-2013, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs87 View Post
I can see the argument you are making but, we need a big center, a big shutdown defenceman and a winger who can create space and be effective. It seems like we are just throwing random pieces together. Look at the depth of the big competitive teams then look at us and tell where I haven't been paying attention
We don't have much depth right now because we just left the rebuilding stages very recently. We have a lot of young, top-end talent on the team, and a couple of studs on the farm. The ship's heading in the right direction, and time's on our side now. We just need 1-2 more veteran guys cut in the same cloth as Mclement (Helooooo Clarkson!), and then we'll have to make our big move to get that number 1 C...likely via trade.

And voila. We'll have a contender with a big window.

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05-03-2013, 11:23 PM
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could i have some names please? which core pieces do you consider "overall ineffective"?
Grabovski signed long term. Not great defensively even though many believe he is and when he's not scoring he's useless.

Liles signed long term as well. He's not bad at moving the puck but with gardiner and rielly I don't see a spot for him plus he can't be played as a shutdown defenceman.

Bozak. If he gets the contract he wants it will be the begining of the slow death of this team.

I love the leafs too but in reality they aren't that great, and the identity of toughness we try to play with is just absurd because we don't have tough players

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05-03-2013, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Kurtz View Post
We don't have much depth right now because we just left the rebuilding stages very recently. We have a lot of young, top-end talent on the team, and a couple of studs on the farm. The ship's heading in the right direction, and time's on our side now. We just need 1-2 more veteran guys cut in the same cloth as Mclement (Helooooo Clarkson!), and then we'll have to make our big move to get that number 1 C...likely via trade.

And voila. We'll have a contender with a big window.
Very optimistic but I do agree that can be a possibility, but I have to say I don't see us having alot of studs in the nhl. We have a couple hopefuls but definetly wouldn't say alot

How would we aquire that first line center without giving up at the very least depth though ?

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05-03-2013, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs87 View Post
Very optimistic but I do agree that can be a possibility, but I have to say I don't see us having alot of studs in the nhl. We have a couple hopefuls but definetly wouldn't say alot

How would we aquire that first line center without giving up at the very least depth though ?
I agree with you in post #21, but I think that both Liles and Grabo are tradeable, and I imagine Bozak will either re-sign at a reasonable price or we'll let him go.

I'm not sure how we get that #1 C. Nonis will have to work a little magic on that one, and we'll probably have to move some picks, and maybe one of our young D...but it's doable. It's been done before.

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05-04-2013, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs87 View Post
Grabovski signed long term. Not great defensively even though many believe he is and when he's not scoring he's useless.

Liles signed long term as well. He's not bad at moving the puck but with gardiner and rielly I don't see a spot for him plus he can't be played as a shutdown defenceman.

Bozak. If he gets the contract he wants it will be the begining of the slow death of this team.

I love the leafs too but in reality they aren't that great, and the identity of toughness we try to play with is just absurd because we don't have tough players
i can agree with your assessments on grabo +liles but i don't consider either of them core players (players on long term contracts do not necessarily = core pieces)

also bozak is anything but ineffective as you could see last two regular season games when he didn't play+ wednesday when he wasn't at the top of his game and using a contract that probably hasn't even been discussed as your main argument for this isn't really convincing anyone.

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05-04-2013, 12:36 AM
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I just want a title right now... Stressing over toronto sports teams is a recurring theme. Build competitive teams.

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