For better or worse, Tim Leiweke is set on changing the culture of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The new boss of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment told Bloomberg as much on Monday, saying he’s already mapped out the club’s Stanley Cup parade while suggesting images of the 1960’s-era Leafs — who won four Cups between 1962-67 — should be scrapped.
“I have it planned out and it’s going to be fantastic,”Leiweke said of the proposed victory parade. “If you can all dream about that and get that in your mind, we’ll have something we’re all driven toward.”
That’s a brazen statement itself, but it wasn’t the only one.
As mentioned, Leiweke not-so-indirectly claimed Toronto needs to lessen the focus on its glory teams of the 60s.
“I don’t want the players walking in the hallways of the Air Canada Centre and seeing pictures from 1962,” he explained. “Get rid of those pictures and tell them, this is your legacy.”
How that sentiment plays in Toronto remains to be seen.
While the Leafs don’t retire numbers, they do honor them — with the likes of 60s icons George Armstrong (10), Johnny Bower (1), Red Kelly (4) and Frank Mahovlich (27) regarded as some of the greatest players to ever wear the blue and white.
But the way Leiweke sees it, all the teams under the MLSE umbrella needed a shift in focus.
“If the teams were doing well,” he told Bloomberg, “I wouldn’t have come.”