It hasn’t been the smoothest of sailing for Tim Leiweke since being named the new boss of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment in April.
In July, for example, one columnist called Leiweke’s bravado — (see: “New Leafs prez has Stanley Cup parade-route planned” and “Leiweke wants to be a ‘hero’ in Toronto”) — “laughable stuff.”
And for the last little while, Leiweke’s had to watch the crown jewel of the MLSE empire, the Maple Leafs, win just four of 33 games in regulation.
Today, the former AEG executive was a guest on Sportsnet 590 The FAN radio (audio) to talk about, among other things, the hockey team that no longer occupies a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
To that, Leiweke said he trusts fully in the direction general manager Dave Nonis is leading the club.
“I don’t think October was a fluke,” said Leiweke, referring to Toronto’s 10-4-0 start to the season, “and getting [injured forward Dave Bolland] back will help this team.”
The counter-argument is that, despite their record, the Leafs weren’t all that dominant in October. In fact, they were outshot by a combined 505 to 371, a trend that led many to predict the slide they’re currently in.
Still, Leiweke, like Nonis did recently, put the onus on the players, not management or the coaching staff, to improve the team’s situation.
“We got work to do,” he said. “This team, I think, can get better. I think if you look at the players we have today, there’s no question that we all think we should be in a better position than we’re in today.”
The Leafs are in Boston tomorrow to play the Bruins.
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