Toronto Maple Leafs fans continue to ride the highs and lows of the off-season, as Tim Leiweke has announced his decision to leave MLSE within the year.
Should fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs be worried that Tim Leiweke is moving on?
In a word, no.
Elliotte Friedman first broke the news. He revealed that Leiweke was stepping down as MLSE CEO and President to pursue a “new challenge.”
Not sure of where he’s going, but hearing the reason is he is looking for a new challenge.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 19, 2014
After a day or two of denials and mixed reports, the bombshell dropped. Leiweke was definitely leaving by June 30, 2015 or sooner if a replacement can quickly be found. With the mess the news has caused, bet on sooner. As the news sunk in, Toronto writers became more than a little worried. Cathal Kelly (Globe and Mail, The Reporters), for one, is beside himself. He lamented Leiweke’s departure by dropping the “D” word.
What comes after Tim Leiweke leaves MLSE? Disaster.
— cathalkelly (@cathalkelly) August 22, 2014
Disaster. Sounds really bad.
But Toronto Maple Leafs fans don’t need to reach for a box of tissues. They don’t need to shed a tear into their coffee this morning.
Heck, Leafs fans don’t even need to give the departure a second thought.
Here’s why: Tim Leiweke’s job was already done.
Let’s look at what’s in place for the Leafs next year.
Management and Coaching
Tim Leiweke handed the Toronto Maple Leafs over to Brendan Shanahan in April. As Leafs president, Shanahan has orchestrated huge changes that have rocked the core of the Toronto Maple Leafs front office this off-season.
First, an analytics department was created, marking a huge change for the organization.
Second, the coaching staff was overhauled, with future head coach Steve Spott sliding behind the Toronto Maple Leafs bench.
In management, the Toronto Maple Leafs are set. Now, the new staff must have time to work their magic. Leiweke isn’t needed here at all. In fact, his involvement would probably just make a mess.
Best of all, the Toronto Maple Leafs roster is remarkably unchanged and rapidly developing. The third and fourth lines are in a little flux. Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak replace Carl Gunnarsson. Small beans.
Instead, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ young core will be allowed to develop together as Phil Kessel moves into his prime, Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk come of age, Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner take leadership of the back end, and Jonathan Bernier continues his ascent to elite goaltender status.
It’s Going to be Okay, Leafs Fans…
With a strong president leading, a modern management group, rising stars in the coaching mix, and a young, developing roster with studs at forward, on defense, and in goal, Leafs fans need not worry.
If Tim Leiweke needs a new challenge, let him start up his new lemonade stand, or record a duet with Drake, or take on whatever new challenge he needs.
For Leafs fans, Leiweke’s work was already done.
What do you think about Leiweke’s departure? Let us know in the comments section below.