Editor's Note: The following is an important message from our Angry Irish Overlord via Leafs Insider.
Dear Leafs Nation,
A little over 10 days ago, I accepted an opportunity to become president and general manager of your Toronto Maple Leafs. I want to thank the Board of Directors and owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Richard Peddie, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, for entrusting me with one of the most important jobs in hockey.
Running the Toronto Maple Leafs is a dream job for me. It's a true honour to be associated with an iconic team with passionate fans, and a strong sense of history and tradition.
I spent the last three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks where as president and general manager I was fortunate to be part of a Stanley Cup Championship. We intend to create the same winning culture for Leafs fans.
The Leafs are now turning a page in their storied history. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Rebuilding this team will require commitment and dedication. Cliff Fletcher has made many positive steps in the right direction. Over the next few months, our management team will evaluate our players and start to address the opportunities that will support our team's progress on the ice.
We have a number of areas that are working in our favour starting with stable ownership that is committed to winning and an established coach in Ron Wilson. Ron and I share the same philosophies on how the game should be played. Under the tutelage of Ron and his coaching staff, we have started to see a shift in how our team plays every night.
We have started to create a strong nucleus of young talent like Luke Schenn and Mikhail Grabovski, who will continue to grow, develop and excel under the Leafs system. And probably the biggest advantage our team has is an arena filled with loyal fans every night who want to see their team succeed.
As I said in my introductory news conference, I have three pillars that I base my teams on:
1. Having a team that plays an exciting and entertaining style. The Leafs will justify the price of the ticket every night on the ice.
2. I believe teams need to operate in a fiscally responsible manner. We will spend our fans’ and our sponsors’ money intelligently and make decisions that are right for the team.
3. I expect all of our players and coaches to be leaders in the community. Community service is not an option. I am thrilled to see the Leafs organization already has a strong culture of giving back to the community through initiatives and programs led by the Leafs Fund for Kids, Leafs Hockey Development and Leafs Community Relations. The Leafs lead the NHL in community initiatives, team appearances and fundraising. This will continue to be a priority for our team.
These three pillars created a winning culture for my teams in the past and I anticipate they will continue to have the same positive impact on the Leafs going forward.
Last weekend, the Leafs announced the hiring of hockey executive David Nonis as senior vice-president of hockey operations. I have had the fortune of working with Dave for more than 14 years in Anaheim, Vancouver and at the NHL. He will be a great addition to our hockey organization as he brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge.
I would like to thank Leafs Nation for a very warm welcome to Toronto. This is a great time to be affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I hope you’ll share in my excitement as we get started on the work ahead.
President and General Manager
Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club