Shocking news as friend of the blog Elliotte Friedman reported that Tim Leiweke will be leaving his role as MLSE's
Hearing MLSE president/CEO Tim Leiweke will be leaving the company soon. (1/2)— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 19, 2014
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
The notion that he is looking for a new challenge is hilarious as he had barely begun working on the initial challenge of taking three woefully inept sporting franchises and moulding them into something worth supporting. So far he's moved the needle on the Raptors to "decent in general and good in the shitty Eastern Conference", shifted Toronto FC from "worldwide soccer laughingstock" to "decent team with an atrocious coach that probably makes the playoffs in the shitty Eastern Conference", and cemented the Leafs as "woefully inept" right up until he hired Brendan Shanahan who has made people wonder if the Leafs might not be the stupidest team in hockey anymore. Mission accomplished indeed.
Leiweke's time in Toronto showed that he was much more of a mouthpiece than a vehicle for change. His first moves put everyone on the back foot as he first announced that he had a Stanley Cup parade route planned - much to the chagrin of fans that have heard that joke daily for about 47 years - and that he wanted to tear down pictures of the Leafs' past successes for some inexplicable reason. To say that he came off as delusional would be an understatement.
His immediate extension of Dave Nonis in light of a solitary playoff appearance induced head scratching galore especially considering how lucky the Leafs were, that Nonis had a long-term deal already in place, and that Nonis would then proceed to have an off-season so poor that a potato was seen as a better GM for the Leafs. To be fair to Nonis, we now know that Leiweke tried to stop Dean Lombardi from hiring Darryl Sutter as coach and tried to force him to sign Ilya Kovalchuk when he was a free agent so maybe David Clarkson isn't all Nonis' fault.
On a personal note, if he left this year then it'd be fantastic because of an email I got in November from a buddy:
At a sport mgmt conference, Gord Miller just asked Leiweke specifically about Pension Plan Puppets and the effect on the club.
"(our team is better than) some idiot that is trying to go after you with a blog" - Leiweke
Timbo probably felt pretty confident because when that was sent the Leafs were 11-6-0 and coming off of their first playoff appearance in almost a decade. Who wouldn't feel like they had big brave balls at that point of the year? Of course, the Leafs shrivelled up like they had seen a Desert Eagle .50. Poor Tim even had to go on the radio and admit that the stats guys were right. Ho hum. Get used to it when it comes to the Leafs, Tim. And Bruce Arthur said your family didn't like the cold? Do Americans not learn anything about Canada?
Over at BMO Field, ol' Tim did his thing and "fixed the team" (his words, not mine) which granted when they have an ignominious history like TFC that claim holds more water. He splashed out some serious dough on Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley and Gilberto but he still managed to keep a neophyte coach in place despite evidence that he should go. Eighth place in the entire league and third in the weaker conference doesn't seem like much but for TFC fans it's at least a step up. Although even a casual observer of the team can see what effect having an untrained coach has had on the season. At least the team finally used that MLSE muscle and let's not kid ourselves because that's what drew those two studs to Toronto.
The Raptors don't suck right now and there's actually some good feelings about the team after their first playoff appearance in a while. They lost to an old team in heartbreaking fashion but at least every statistical indicator isn't pointed in the wrong direction. Again, Tim used MLSE's vast financial resources to accomplish some good. Smart cookie I guess.
Oh, and Leiweke hung a stupid fucking Bon Jovi banner. Christ, what an asshole.
Good news though, looks like he might be staying to build on his already wondrous legacy:
Just talked to Tim Leiweke re: rumours he's leaving MLSE: "It's not true. 100 per cent not true. I'm fully committed to the season at hand."— cathalkelly (@cathalkelly) August 19, 2014
If anyone would know, it's Tim Leiweke's personal mouthpiece. Drat.
UPDATE: From the man that is apparently a mouthpiece to all of Toronto's bloviating self-promoters
Turns out Elliot Friedman did have right scoop. Tim Leiweke staying only until next June at earliest— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) August 21, 2014