Tim Leiweke wants to end Maple Leafs' Cup drought

Just when you thought the NHL deadline to bring in outside help for the playoffs had passed, the Maple Leafs have added a star from the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

Not quite Dustin Brown or Drew Doughty, but the Kings-Lakers-Galaxy management company president Tim Leiweke. If he at all can influence the Leafs in their return to the playoffs after the eighth-seeded Kings won the championship last year, then start clearing Bay St. for the parade. But Leiweke has only modest goals for the moment.

“Right now, my job is to cheer for the Leafs and stay out of the way,” he said Friday in his introduction as new CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “They don’t need another GM right now, but they will need a person who has gone through the (Cup) experience.”

Leiweke knows the Leaf situation well from talking with club chairman Larry Tanenbaum at various board of governors meetings. He’ll be trying to expand the brand even more. The development of the real estate/entertainment hub around Maple Leaf Square and the Air Canada Centre was taken from his playbook with the Kings’ L.A. Live complex at the Staples Center.

But Leiweke knows that future growth hinges on ending the Leafs’ Cup drought, now 45 years and counting.

“I realize it’s the hardest team trophy in sports to get, that it takes the most blood, sweat and tears. It was amazing to see what (Kings’ coach) Darryl Sutter and (GM) Dean Lombardi did. I hope I can bring enthusiasm and a sense of direction.”

Leiweke says he’s aware the thought of playing in pressure-packed Toronto scares potential free agents. The man who helped bring David Beckham to the Galaxy hopes to one day lure marquee players to all MLSE teams, but particularly the Blue and White.

“It was great to see the envy at the table in league meetings for the Lakers and Galaxy,” he recalled. “Let’s use that (Toronto drawing power). I’d love to see other teams upset because we’re dominant. But we have to use new resource streams so we can remain dominant.”

Source : http://torontosun.com/2013/04/26/tim-leiweke-wants-to-end-maple-leafs-cup-drought

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