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SBD/October 1, 2013/NHL Season Preview
Maple Leafs Look To New Ownership Structure To Produce Long-Term Stability
Published October 1, 2013
LEADER OF THE PACK: Cox wrote Nonis is "less flamboyant and outspoken" than former President & GM Brian Burke. While he is "less of a face of the franchise, Nonis still has his hands full." He has been a GM before with the Canucks, but Nonis "is now under the microscope more than he's ever been in his 23-year career as a hockey executive." Asked if he felt he was out of Burke's shadow, Nonis said, "I never really felt like I was under his shadow. I've always been my own person, done things my own way. I think there's more separation now." He added of differences between running the Canucks and Leafs, "There's great interest in Vancouver but in Toronto there's just more. There are more fans, there's more media, there's more attention. There are more obligations. There's more history. There's just more of everything. I think Vancouver was a good training ground for me. I think this is a place and a job that would be difficult as a first job. It's hard enough as it is." Nonis said the most important quality for a GM to have "is patience." He added, "There’s some pretty bright people over the past 15, 20, 30 years that weren’t good managers because they were impulsive. The ones that have had success, not only are they bright and have nerve, they wait for things to happen. You can’t make things happen in this business. Sometimes you have to take your lumps and wait" (TORONTO STAR, 9/28).
POPULARITY CONTEST: In Toronto, Rob Longley writes, "In ways far beyond the control of the coach, management and the players, sometimes it sucks to be the Maple Leafs." When it comes to the "rough start to the 2013-14 season, start with television." TSN "successfully lobbied to have its Wednesday night national schedule debut with the Leafs and the league complied with the Flyers -- a guaranteed ratings blockbuster." However, it "didn't take long for CBC to object, likely at full volume." With the "big-ticket rights the public broadcaster shells out, Hockey Night in Canada wasn't about to let TSN get the jump on the first Leafs telecast." As a result, the Maple Leafs will open at the Canadiens before traveling to face the Flyers. Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said that there "won't be sympathy in any quarters -- especially for a franchise that pulls so much weight with the league and the networks that cover it." Longley notes, however, what has "resulted is the rather odd predicament of Leafs 'partners' who stand to benefit from any success the team has in the form of big ratings inadvertently creating a situation that makes winning more difficult" (TORONTO SUN, 10/1).