From Official Toronto Maple Leafs
Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan spoke to media on Wednesday about the Maple Leafs’ new logo. Here’s what he had to say…
On reaction to the logo:
Just looking at the ever-reliable Twitter so far so good. I got a lot of emails last night and today from friends, from alumni, and from people that work with us. Just looking from what I see out there I think people appreciate why we did what we did and also the fact of what we came up with as our logo going forward.
Do you have reaction to Stamkos allegedly tweeting about the logo?
No, I don’t.
How do you like the logo?
Well obviously I like it a lot, it was a real collaborative with everyone involved. It was something we were thinking about last year as well. It’s a real process with the NHL and with Reebok to make a change like this. We talked to our players, we talked to our alumni, we talked to some of our own historians that really sort of know the details of how we came to be the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m very pleased with the stuff we’ve come up with and, I always say, it’s just one piece of what we’re trying to do here. Ultimately what’s most important is what the players do while they’re wearing the sweater.
What do you hope this represents to a generation of young fans that have never seen a Stanley Cup win?
Well, again, I think it all still depends on what we do with the sweater on. This is just one little piece, we’re trying to take care of the little details that are important to us. It was important to us that we got back to the story of why we became the Maple Leafs. There are some subtle changes to the logo but for those that thought we were going to look for some radical changes, we weren’t. We’ve got too much respect for our history, for the people that built this organization — guys like Teeder Kennedy and Syl Apps and George Armstrong. We thought that that era, our first real dynasty, was sort of the inspiration for what we wanted to do with the logo going forward.
What made you as a group decide you wanted to change it?
I guess when I came here I asked the question why it ever changed. I always loved the look of the original Maple Leaf and I wanted to know why it did change. It seemed most popular with our fans, our players loved whenever they had an opportunity to wear what they would call a throwback type of sweater with the logo. What we’re trying to build here and the history we’re trying to emulate is one that we identify is one we identify more with that logo than the current one. Again, I asked a lot of questions of why we ended up changing and didn’t get a lot of really good answers so it seemed more and more that the people in Toronto and within our organization wanted to go back to what Conn Smythe had in mind when he first said we’re going to be the Maple Leafs.
Do you have anything else on your checklist in terms of your history?
The first part of your question is yes, we do have some more things on the checklist and the second part is no, not that we would want to divulge at this time. Everything, I think that people are recognizing that everything we do — big or small — whether it’s concrete or just gesture, it’s really about what we all have in mind of where we ultimately want to be and that’s we want to be a championship organization again.
How is planning for the trade deadline going and how active do you expect to be?
Well I’ll leave that up to Lou Lamoriello our general manager and, suffice it to say, we’ll be prepared like all teams will be at that day. It’s an important time for us and how we, as an organization, evolve. Last year’s trade deadline was very important to us, this year’s trade deadline is very important to us. I’m sure they all will be. We have a very competent manager in Lou and we have a very competent team of executives that are assisting him.
How important is this new logo as a motivation for what you’re trying to do?
I think it’s just one small piece quite honestly. I think it was important that we showed it to the players first and I think that they understand and appreciate everything Mike has done since he has come here as head coach, everything that Lou has done since he has come here as general manager, it’s all about trying to get us back to the place we feel we should be. It’s really all about in the future and what we do wearing the sweater. Some of it is also paying homage and remembering the sort of peer pressure we have and what we have to live up to — the standards that were set by some historic Toronto Maple Leafs in the past.
What has been like to live through this rebuild process?
It’s always frustrating, you’re in the moment and you’re competitive and you’re in the game. Mike is the perfect example. When he’s on the bench during a game, he’s just trying to win that game. We’re the same when we’re watching. It’s not like frustration doesn’t creep in but at the same time you wouldn’t be human and you wouldn’t be competitive if you didn’t feel that on certain nights. It doesn’t change the fact that we’ve all come here knowing what the ultimate plan is and some of the difficult roads we’re going to have to endure as we try to get there. I can say this, that the ownership, our management with Lou and Mike, our coaching staff, our players and our fans, especially our fans, they get it, they’re supportive and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us still.