Tim Leiweke knows a thing or two about making money and winning championships. He’s pretty confident that the latter is going to come into play rather early into his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leiweke is the new president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Leafs and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. After serving in the same capacity for the Anschutz Entertainment Group — the group that owns the Los Angeles Kings, Galaxy and part of the Lakers — and seeing nine championships in his 13 years, Leiweke is ready to bring that culture of winning to Toronto.
He’s so confident he’s going to do so, in fact, that he’s already mapped out the parade route for when the team wins its first Stanley Cup since 1967.
“I have it planned out and it’s going to be fantastic,” he told Bloomberg (via Deadspin) in his first interview since taking over June 3. “If you can all dream about that and get that in your mind, we’ll have something were all driven toward.”
It’s certainly aiming high, especially coming right out of the gates. The Leafs just made their first Stanley Cup playoffs in almost a decade this past season, where they were eliminated in the first round by the Bruins in a seven-game series. Toronto actually held a three-goal lead in the third period of Game 7 before the B’s stormed back to tie the game and win it in overtime.
“I think they need a few ass-kickings, and that’s one that will stay with them for a long time,” he said. “I think it will pay huge dividends in the long term no matter how painful it was.”
Leiweke also insisted that he’s behind general manager Dave Nonis, claiming he’s a “big Dave Nonis fan,” and said there should be some news soon in regards to Nonis’ contract negotiations.