(June 27, 2003 - TORONTO) -- Richard Peddie, president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd (MLSEL), announced Friday that Ken Dryden has been named Vice Chairman of MLSEL and that Pat Quinn will relinquish his dual role of general manager and head coach to focus exclusively on coaching.
In his new capacity, Dryden will also be a member of the board of directors for MLSEL and will continue to serve as alternate governor of the Leafs. The position of team president has been eliminated, as it has been with the Toronto Raptors. Dryden will continue to report directly to Peddie, as will the new general manager.
The search for a new general manager of the Maple Leafs will commence immediately. As part of the restructuring, the contract of Bill Watters, assistant to the general manager, is not being renewed when it expires June 30.
"In the past six years, Ken has been so instrumental in setting the direction and tone of the Maple Leafs. We are very happy that he will continue to do so. In addition, with his position on the board of directors he will also play a greater role throughout the company," Peddie said.
"As everyone involved has said from the beginning, we anticipated splitting Pat's dual role at a time that was best for the organization. We all agreed that the time is right to take that step now. The process of hiring a new general manager will be carried out in a thorough and timely fashion, involving Pat, Ken and myself."
Quinn took over as the 25th head coach in Toronto Maple Leafs history June 26, 1998. He added the responsibilities of general manager July 14, 1999, joining Punch Imlach and Conn Smythe as the three men who have dually handled the club's head coach and general manager duties.
Dryden joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as team president, alternate governor, and executive vice president of Maple Leaf Gardens, Limited in May 1997. He added the additional duties of general manager that summer and re-assigned the general manager role in July 1999 to Quinn.
Following six seasons as the Leafs' radio analyst, Watters began a 12-year stint in the front office in 1991, serving in various operations and administrative positions.