Larry Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment board, took out a full page ad in Toronto papers and online Tuesday apologizing in an “Open Letter to Leafs fans”. The statement read as follows:
Dear Leafs Fans:
On behalf of the ownership of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, we want to thank you for your unwavering passion and loyalty. Like every fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs, we are disappointed with the results of this season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a public trust with the greatest fans in the world. We have fallen short of everyone’s expectations and for that we are sorry. We take full responsibility for how this team performs on the ice, and we make no excuses. The way this year ended was unacceptable. Results are the only measure of success in sports and the results speak for themselves.
Ownership believes in the plan for the Maple Leafs. All of the resources at our disposal will be used to make sure that the entire organization is focused on making the Leafs a successful playoff team. We are 100% committed to ensuring we ice a team that competes with the NHL’s best. Passion, hard work and accountability will always be the hallmarks of our organization.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are privileged to have such passionate loyal fans. We do not take that for granted. Our entire organization wants nothing more than to deliver a team that makes you proud.
Lawrence M. Tanenbaum, O.C. Chairman of the Board Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Puzzled Toronto fans had mixed reactions to the unusual release ranging from anger to disbelief. Leaf Nation was on a rollercoaster ride this season with what appeared to be (finally) the end of a playoff drought. Sadly, this year’s outcome was identical to the past six. Today, Tanenbaum promised fans results. Like any apology, however, actions speak louder than words. The Leafs, who selected 5th overall in the draft lottery, will need serious rebuilding to play the kind of contender hockey expected from both GM, Brian Burke and coach ,Randy Carlyle.