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Former Kings executive Tim Leiweke says L.A. is 'not a hockey town'

June 14, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • Tim Leiweke plays with a Luc Robitaille bobblehead doll in 2010. Despite the Kings' Stanley Cup win in 2012, Leiweke says Los Angeles is not a hockey town.
Tim Leiweke plays with a Luc Robitaille bobblehead doll in 2010. Despite… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

Former Kings governor Tim Leiweke had a relationship with the team that was stormy at times and typhoon-like on occasion. All seemed forgiven last June when the team won the Stanley Cup.

It took only a year for Leiweke to spend that goodwill.

Leiweke, now the president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, incurred the ire of Kings fans last week after an interview on Leafs TV.

He was asked about his experience during the Maple Leafs' “breakthrough spring” and his impressions of “the passion of Leaf Nation as they came out in support of the Blue and White.”

Said Leiweke: “We didn’t see that in L.A., and we won the Stanley Cup. We finally saw it at the end. It took us getting to the finals in order to awaken that town. It’s not a hockey town.”

Leiweke went on to say, “I came here and it was ‘Oh my goodness, look at this.’ This happened Day 1. This happened the first day of the playoffs. You had more built-up passion for this hockey team and organization on an away playoff game than we ever did, including winning the Stanley Cup in Game Six on home ice.”

But wait .…

It was just a few years ago that Leiweke, in discussing the Kings’ ticket prices, said, “We have the most passionate and loyal fans in the National Hockey League.”

So which is it, Tim?

Footnote: A “breakthrough season”? The Maple Leafs were eliminated in the first round. But when you haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967, making the playoffs can seem like a break-through.


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