Last weekend Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment had found their replacement for out going president and CEO, Tim Leiweke.
However, there appears to be a change in plans as MLSE announced on Friday that Leiweke will remain in his role past June 30.
“It’s a privilege to work with the incredible MLSE team, and it’s a very positive time to be at the company,” said Leiweke in a statement. “We’ve accomplished great things together. I’m happy to be here as long as I’m needed while the organization works to find the right leader to carry the momentum forward.”
MLSE, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs among others, was expected to announce the hiring of John Cassaday to replace Leiweke this week.
According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, negotiations on compensation with Cassaday became an issue after the Mike Babcock signing.
Cassaday recently retired as president and CEO of Toronto-based radio and television broadcaster, Corus Entertainment.
Leiweke joined MLSE in April 2013 on a reported five-year contract, but was scheduled to leave the company on June 30.
Red Wings fans may feel jilted now that Mike Babcock chased the challenge and cash in Toronto, yet they’d be hard-pressed to deny that the scowling head coach accomplished a lot in the decade he spent in Detroit.
Babcock didn’t forget the fans, either, as he took out this full-page ad to say thank you … and goodbye.
The text reads:
Detroit Red Wings Fans,
Thank you for an amazing 10 years!
We’ll never forget the support you’ve provided us and will always cherish the memories we’ve shared together in Hockeytown.
– The Babcocks.
Sarcasm is basically inevitable on social media, so of course there’s been a quip here and there, especially regarding Babcock’s big-money contract.
That’s a pretty good way of looking at it.
To some, it’s still a little bewildering to imagine someone else behind Detroit’s bench, but this another (classy) reminder that it’s all real.
OK, it’s still a little stunning:
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Even if you’re one of those cold souls who think that playoff beards are played out – really? – this story should warm your heart a bit: the Washington Capitals’ (copyrighted!) Beard-a-Thon raised more than $30K for the American Special Hockey Association. (Capitals)
Want to get your mind blown a little bit? Check out these photos of young and very young Mike Babcock. (BarDown)
Former WWE star CM Punk’s passion for the Chicago Blackhawks is no secret, but you can find out more about his fandom here. (The Hockey News)
Alex Killorn believes that his mom is more impressed with his degree than his NHL career. Well, it is from Harvard. (Tampa Bay Times)
More on Joel Quenneville’s decision to go with “fresh legs.” (CSNChicago.com)
The “ripple effect” of Babcock’s contract. (Sportsnet)
Clearing the defensive zone might not be so clearly beneficial. (Jen LC)
Plenty of teams have been said to show some interest in Mike Babcock, even if it sounds like it may come down to the Buffalo Sabres or Detroit Red Wings. Whatever the case may be, it sounds like #BabWatch won’t last a whole lot longer.
If nothing else, the lauded head coach told MLive.com that he’s close to making a decision, and his interviewing process is finished.
“Just going to re-visit everything one more time (with Red Wings GM Ken Holland),” Babcock said on Monday. “I’ve talked to all the teams I’m talking to.”
He noted that he expects to sit down with his family tonight and that he’ll probably announce his choice on Wednesday. Of course, with the nature of hockey news and these sensitive choices, it’s possible something will come up sooner (or perhaps even later).
Let’s hope for the former, because the scuttlebutt can get wild in times like these. Also, this Photoshop might be seared into a brain or two:
The latest in the Mike Babcock coaching sweepstakes has the 52-year-old meeting with Red Wings GM Ken Holland on Monday. (Note: see the end of this post for a growing list of Babcock suitors …)
According to hockey insider Darren Dreger, Babcock and Holland flew home from the Czech Republic, where they were watching the World Hockey Championship, on Sunday.
Babcock and Holland were to discuss the coach’s future during the flight before meeting again tomorrow.
Dreger reports a decision on Babcock’s coaching future is expected midweek.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres are reportedly the only two teams, which filed paper work for permission to speak with Babcock.
Update: Apparently the San Jose Sharks will be in the running, too. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Sharks are scheduled to speak with Babcock sometime this week. The clock appears to be ticking, too:
The Sharks aren’t shy about hiring from Detroit, as Todd McLellan was once a Babcock assistant.
Interesting side note: Babcock may have initiated this meeting.
Second update: Maybe throw the St. Louis Blues’ name in the hat, too?
What about Ken Hitchcock? It sounds like the Blues are evaluating whether to stick with him or not.
(Related) Report: Sharks want a second interview with DeBoer