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Tim Leiweke on leaving Maple Leafs, Raptors: ‘My work here is not done’

Greg Wyshynski
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Tim Leiweke, left, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, shakes hands with new Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan following a news conference in Toronto on Monday, April 14, 2014. Shanahan, a Hockey Hall of Famer, says he's eager to get to work learning about the organization, which missed the playoffs after a late-season collapse
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Tim Leiweke, left, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, shakes hands with new Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan following a news conference in Toronto on Monday, April 14, 2014. Shanahan, a Hockey Hall of Famer, says he's eager to get to work learning about the organization, which missed the playoffs after a late-season collapse. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Is Tim Leiweke on his way out of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment? 

Sources told Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada that the president of MLSE would be leaving the company, potentially for “a new challenge.”

(How it gets more challenging than overseeing one franchise that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967 and another that hasn’t made it past the second round of the NBA playoffs, we don’t know. But to each his own …)

But Leiweke denied the report in an interview with Michael Grange of Sportsnet, when asked if there’s a timeline for his departure:

“No, there is no timeline. I’ve never said I would be here forever, but my work here is not done. We have to get the NBA All-Star Game done. We have to get the Raptors practice facility done. We have to get all three teams winning.”

But to read further, it certainly seems like it’s a “I’m here for the time being” type deal:

“I’ll think about this once we’re through everything we need to get through, but right now we’re focused on the season at hand and I guarantee you, I will be here.”

Leiweke was hired as MLSE president in April 2013, coming over Phillip Anschutz’s sports group AEG – which owns the Los Angeles Kings – in a move widely praised in places like the Globe & Mail: “When it comes to sports-business free agents, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. landed the biggest of them all in new president and chief executive officer Tim Leiweke.”

But clearly, the question is now how long this relationship will last with Leiweke, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC.

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