As good as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has been at growing its business in recent years, the same can’t be said for the progress in the win column for many of its teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs are just now starting to show signs of turning things around, and the hiring of President and CEO Tim Leiweke is more good news.
Leiweke comes to Toronto from Los Angeles where he was the President and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group. That company owns the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy, and part of the Los Angeles Lakers as well. The Galaxy are coming off back-to-back MLS championships and the Kings of course captured the Stanley Cup last season.
Leiweke’s track record of success is something that the Leafs organization definitely needs. The major thing lacking from MLSE was a true leader. It’s challenging to win in professional sports without excellent leadership that starts at the top. When you have someone with the background of Leiweke, there should be a trickle down effect throughout the entire company.
The biggest thing teams like the Lakers, New York Yankees, and Montreal Canadiens have going for them is standards. They set the bar to a certain level and anything below that is unacceptable. If things aren’t going well they figure out ways to make the appropriate changes to move forward.
There is no reason the Leafs can’t be considered as one of sports’ elite level teams. They have the financial backing to always push to bring in new talent, but somewhere along the way of growing the business, the entity of MLSE overshadowed success on the ice. The team needs a single person to be the face of the franchise and demand that certain standards be met. Hopefully for the Leafs and their fans, Leiweke is that guy.