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Messages - hockeyfan1

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If the NHL did choose to cash in on what reported would be roughly US$1.4 billion in expansion fees by expanding to 34 teams by the centennial season of 2017-18, a second team in Toronto could play in the Western Conference. The size of the Toronto market has long made it an interesting possibility, whether the expansion team shares Air Canada Centre with the Maple Leafs or has its own arena.

Getting to 32 teams — 16 in the East and 16 in the West — makes for better playoff math and easier scheduling and would also tie the NHL with the NFL as the leagues with the most teams. Going to 34 would surpass North America’s most popular professional sports league.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Phil Kessel and trade value
« on: August 26, 2014, 05:08:49 PM »
Somewhat off topic, I read a post re. zone exits on PPP this morning.  It looked at zone exits for forwards over the first 46 games of last season, turnover %, possession, etc.  Kessel actually had very good numbers in all categories.  Clarkson was battling Orr for the worst numbers - which surprised me as I didn't think he was quite that bad.

Anyway, interesting read FWIW.

Here's the companion piece - zone entries:

Kessel best.

Comes to show just how much of a workload Kessel & JVR do for that first line.  Bozak, not so  much.

From the article:
...your #1 centre has got to be involved in advancing the puck and generating offence, and Tyler Bozak isn't...
his success rate suggests that he does have some skill at zone entries. But whatever the reason for his limited involvement, it's pretty evident that Kessel and JVR are doing the heavy lifting on that line and Bozak is just along for the ride. That's a problem.

Ujiri upset about Lieweke leaving...

...Raptors’ newly approved $32-million practice facility. It was one of the pre-conditions for Ujiri accepting the job as general manager, and one of Leiweke’s first coups as the president and chief executive officer of MLSE just 14 months ago.

...64,000 square foot facility to be built on CNE grounds...

“It’s not been easy man,” said Ujiri of the news that the partnership he forged with Leiweke suddenly had a hard deadline attached. “I love chemistry, I love team sports and Tim is a great team player. He’s a great boss and a great leader. It just makes it tough. You feel you have all of that chemistry and you have to change again.”

It’s clear that Ujiri reveres his boss.

It’s also clear the Leiweke had a knack for rubbing his bosses the wrong way. “They like to believe that MLSE is a best in class organization,” said one source. “And Tim kept telling them that it wasn’t, and he wasn’t always that nice about it.”

.“No one wants to hear their company’s not good enough all the time,” one source said.

Getting a practice facility done was nearly an obsession for Leiweke, because it was a “must-have” for Ujiri and essential to being a model NBA franchise.

Ujiri had been with the Raptors when Bryan Colangelo had his plans for a practice facility turned down by the MLSE board, and wanted assurances that the franchise’s new ownership would make the facility a priority.

Leiweke found himself trying to convince the board at MLSE that spending $32-million with no prospect of a return on the investment was a good idea. This was on top of a $120-million investment to renovate BMO Field and $100 million spent on bringing in Jermaine Defoe and Michael Bradley to Toronto FC.

...Leiweke was adamant...“We needed something, some bricks and mortar, that was a symbol that Raptors were important,” said Leiweke. “The board needed to make a commitment that the Raptors were as high a priority as the Leafs.”

It will have all the bells and whistles – a kitchen, a video room the size of a small movie theatre, a state-of-the-art sports medicine centre, two full-sized courts – and most importantly all of the coaching staff, players, and management will be in one location with an open door policy.

“It’s a symbol of ‘yes we can’, not: why we won’t,’” said Leiweke.

It should all be ready in time for the 2016 All-Star game, and Leiweke made no bones about why that’s significant.

“In order to be among the top six or 10 teams in the league, it’s about recruiting now,” he said. “They understood that we could be a great team and we need a facility that helps us keep players and it’s not lost on us that every great player in the league will be in this facility for a week during the NBA all-star game in 2016. It’s a pretty good calling card.”

“There were so many bumps...but Tim would always walk into my office and say: ‘we’re going to get you a training centre done, we’re going to get it done, we’re going to get it done, and he did.”

“He’s a bulldog, man.”

Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Official Music Thread
« on: August 25, 2014, 06:24:12 PM »
Thanks, guys.  :)

Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Official Music Thread
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:05:57 AM »

Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: Official Music Thread
« on: August 24, 2014, 02:22:10 AM »
Yeah and they're just bad. I see a lot of people buying them and they will just ruin the records and sound awful.

I was thinking of purchasing one (a Crossley),  but kept hesitating because I
 I wasn't  sure of' it's quality.  Thanks for the advice on the Crossley, Potvin.  :)

We still have the Seabreeze turntable somewhere in the house and a box full of vinyl records (no kidding!). 

I haven't paid much attention to any of this stuff over the ages.  Which leads me to a question:  How best to clean vinyl (records) without damaging (or mistakenly 'scratching') them?

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Tim Leiweke leaving MLSE soon?
« on: August 24, 2014, 01:22:16 AM »
CBC link
When Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment President and CEO Tim Leiweke was in the red chair, George asked him about Brian Burke, the former Toronto Maple Leafs GM who was fired a few months before he assumed control.

"I'm proud to call Brian Burke my friend," Leiweke said. "He has been one of the mainstays for me since I got here, and I'm not afraid to tell people I meet with Burkey once a month, because he teaches me a lot, and he's helped me understand what we have to do here and how we have to win. And I love Brian Burke. I think he's a great ambassador for our game, and for our industry."

Leiweke's first choice before Shanahan was to bring back Brian Burke allegedly:

Star link
In an early meeting between Tim Leiweke and the board of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in spring of 2013, the board asked their future CEO who he would like to hire as the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Brian Burke, Leiweke told them, knowing full well what that meant. He liked Brian Burke.
As Burke had recently been fired by the men in the room, it was a bit of an awkward moment.

One might argue if it hadn't been for the MLSE board, there would not have been a Shanahan hiring.  :)

Businesswise from Peddie's years and with the Bell-Rogers broadcasting adventure that despite the bickering is off and running and doesn't need his help because they have all the broadcasting expertise they need, Leiweke needed to do something special beyond just making a team competitive. MLSE is a well developed business with few obvious remaining frontiers. Leiweke's hired key execs and given them the autonomy to do their jobs. All he can do largely from that perspective is sit and watch if they can bring in a championship - which he can do from elsewhere.

He's a doer - not a spectator. I think the NFL bid was big for Leiweke. When it fell through, he felt the need to go find something big and special to do. That's why he had an exit option in his contract and that's why he would not commit to passing it up.

His real Stanley Cup is building things or businesses. He's off to do that.

Good points, cw.  What surprised me the most reading this was Lieweke wanting Burke back into the fold.  Lieweke's recommendation (on re-hiring Burke)comes across as a little strange, considering fact that Burke had previously been fired by the same board,

The very suggestion of choosing Burke as his first choice in front of a board whom he knew had disliked Burke sounds absurd in the least,  Tactless?  Maybe,  But if were Lieweke, I would rot even have mentioned Burke's name in the first place.
He's lucky that no one on that board was offended,  His recommendation of Shanahan thereafter, it's certain, was much better received.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Tim Leiweke leaving MLSE soon?
« on: August 22, 2014, 01:20:41 PM »
I agree with everything that Tim has done to date, absolutely brilliant.  So the stiffs get rid of our guy, the guy whom wants to spend the money and make the changes and then they bring in another "Stiff" that is a member of the cash only club.
And of course to justify his position he will have to make his own moves to imprint the clubs which are now on the right course.
I can tell you if the new guy comes in and F___ks up.  I will truly turn in my fandom once and for all.  And the rest of Leafnation should too. Let the Stiffs figure out how to make their precious money after that. Needless to say I am not happy, Tim should have stayed on until one of the teams hit pay dirt.

I, too, would have likely Liewwke to stay.  What he brought to the Toronto sports scene is something that hadn't been there nor done in the way he 'reformed' the Raptors and the TFC in particular.

Also with the Leafs, in hiring Shanahan, bringing in analytics people,  the legends monument, etc.  If not for Leiweke, it's doubtful any or all of these changes would have transpired with all of the sports teams.  Lieweke being who he was with his 'larger than life' approach, his personality, character, and strive for excellence is why changes happened.

Hopefully whomever replaces Lieweke will keep up the momentum.

All Sports But Hockey / Re: The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Thread
« on: August 22, 2014, 03:39:30 AM »
Baseball Prospectus has the Jays at a 4.9% chance of making the playoffs.

More here on what the Jays will need to do to make the playoffs (just short of a miracle):

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Tim Leiweke leaving MLSE soon?
« on: August 22, 2014, 03:17:28 AM »
Lieweke leaving was forecast by others..

the very day last year that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., announced that Leiweke was its new president and chief executive officer, one well-regarded U.S. investment banker told me he’d be gone within two years — sooner, he said, if anybody Leiweke was aligned with in Toronto either failed to get an NFL franchise or one of his pals from the States put together a group to bid on a franchise.

“No disrespect to Toronto,” the banker told me, “but Tim’s a New York or L.A. type of guy."

MLSE wanted a statement of declaration from Leiweke ahead of Wednesday night’s board meeting; that this was the board forcing Leiweke’s hand in a marriage that many in the U.S. saw as being doomed from the start.

...Toronto’s going to be difficult to find another North American sports executive who can match Leiweke’s affinity for the sport of soccer. The feeling among TFC’s fan base is that in Leiweke they finally had a suit who had their back. Translation: there will be no more Jermaine Defoes or Michael Bradleys. So enjoy them now.

...he used his connections in the entertainment industry to make a franchise that many in the NBA forgot existed, sexy.

Suddenly, the Raptors were talking about increasing a national footprint. Suddenly, the NBA All-Star Game was coming to Toronto. Suddenly, the Raptors were doing things like telling off an entire borough (GM Masai Ujiri’s “accidental” declaration of verbal warfare against Brooklyn) and getting fined by the league after global ambassador Drake was judged to be using his rapper chops to tamper with players.

...forced the Maple Leafs to finally address the weight of their history because he was uniquely positioned to do so as an American with no connections to the hockey team or the city.

Talking about removing black and white photographs of the Maple Leafs from the hallways outside the dressing room moved the needle on the discussion, and instead of the tiresome and at times tacky pre-game ceremonies...the Leafs will now have a proper monument in Maple Leaf Square.

...put president Brendan Shanahan in position and gave him the backing to build an entire analytics department.


Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Tim Leiweke leaving MLSE soon?
« on: August 22, 2014, 02:45:11 AM »
Rumour on Team 1200 tonight was Mark Cohon going in for Leiweke.

TSN SportsCentre guest Elliotte Friedman said Cohon's timing could not be better and that Cohon expressed excitement anout the chance to join MLSE should he be given it.

Actually, Mark Cohon made for a good and well-liked CFL commissioner and could do likewise for MLSE's interests.  He's well-connected, knows the city, the teams, etc.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Tim Leiweke leaving MLSE soon?
« on: August 21, 2014, 03:48:20 PM »
Kind of surprised to read about Lieweke's possible departure from MLSE.  But then, as with all things Maple Leaf,  should anyone be surprised?

If and when he leaves, it's anyone's guess who his replacement will be.

Wouldn't doubt Lieweke taking on an executive position with an NBA club (no, not the Raptors).  Just guessing,

All Sports But Hockey / Re: The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Thread
« on: August 20, 2014, 01:27:10 PM »
Well, you can't really change the roster at this point so you have to work with what you have.  The Jays have a tired bullpen because the starters have struggled to get anything done.  Making a move like that where you pinch hit for McGowan with another pitcher so that you are forced to use more of the bullpen just seems like a stupid move. 

Hasn't this been a theme for the Jays time and again?  Same problem in seasons past (last year, year before last, etc.) where they relied on the bullpen to bail out the starters.

Thought this issue was to have been addressed with the signing of Buerhle, Dickey, a healthy Hutchison, plus the usual array of bullpen relievers.  Seems to have finally clicked somehow with a decent first-half showing...

...only to have the roof cave in, figuratively-speaking, when the team needed it most, such as now.
Same old story with the Jays.  Can't understand this team anymore what with all of their injuries and stilted results.

Perhaps it's time to rethink having Gibbons as their bench boss, though, a new manager might not be able to accomplish much either with the way the team functions.

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