Leafs to remove broadcasters from team charters, make players shave

It looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs have decided that their flights are reserved for themselves, and not the people who are there to talk about them. In an obviously Lamoriello-driven move, team broadcasters will have different flight arrangements beginning this season. As well, the players look.. different.

Friend of the world Steve Simmons was quick to point out that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the first team to ever commit a travesty like this. Which, shockingly, was not actually true:

As you can see, this isn’t unchartered territory for Lamoriello, who prefers to leave some space between those who cover the team and the team itself. In an ideal world, there’s an understanding of trust that those broadcasters won’t use what they overhear in negative ways. However, if you can avoid having to worry about that altogether by, you know, placing them on a different flight, why wouldn’t you?

Even if this made it so that guys like Paul Romanuk and Greg Millen have to have their flights paid for by their employer rather than by the Leafs… their employer is the same parent company. There’s no financial difference. It just keeps distractions away from the player, staff, and probably the broadcasters too.

Another Lamoriello policy that has come over from the Devils? Dress code. Some players look decidedly different today, sporting shorter haircuts and either a completely clean shave or minor stubble. Just look at Jonathan Bernier: who was all about the two-week-in beard last year:


He definitely looks younger, if nothing else. Hey, maybe that’s the motive – you can flip the veterans by pretending they’re prospects? 

In all seriousness, the move makes sense. These are high paid professionals, and Lamoriello likes them to show commitment to themselves and the rest of their team in multiple forms of body and mind. If a clean shave and nice suit will ensure that everyone is just a little more on the same page and pays a bit more attention to themselves, then it works out. Beards are for the playoffs, anyway, and it’s not like this team has seen much of those recently.

  • STAN

    “…this isn’t unchartered territory for Lamoriello…”

    Was that a pun or do you not know that the descriptive phrase is “uncharted territory”.

    If it were unchartered, it would mean it was not for hire.

    You’re welcome.

  • Gary Empey

    And on the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair, and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean. —- Leviticus 14:9

      • Gary Empey

        This article says Lamoriello has decreed dress code. “shorter haircuts and either a completely clean shave or minor stubble.”

        Jeff Veillette states “A clean shave and nice suit will ensure that everyone is just a little more on the same page ”

        As soon as I heard this I threw off my clothes and put on a suit. I then cut my hair and shaved and sat there appalled. Then my dog bit me.

        • Gary Empey

          Since this team is made up of 14 3rd liners, and 7 No. 3 Dmen, they might as well all look the same. Wouldn’t want individualism and creativity breaking out! It’s not a huge deal but this is the kind autocratic BS. I was worried about when I heard we hired Lou. This will not have one iota of influence on the teams play on the ice. Does this mean Movember is cancelled?

  • silentbob

    I’m not a fan of removing broadcasters from the plane. I think you want the players and the media covering them to have good relationships. A reporter (who are all human beings) are going to be less likely to reveal something negative/harmful about a player (more human beings) they know, like and respect. And the only way to get that kind of relationship is for the two groups to spend time together.

    One of the worst things about the “Burke era” was the “us vs them” mentality that Burke created. I thought one of the best things Babcock said early on was that Leaf players HAD to be responsible to the fans and media, and win or lose they’d be out there after every game doing their jobs and answering questions.

    I like the dress code, these are professionals and they should look the part. I can get behind players not being allowed to have a “scruffy” look, though if a player wants a full grown, well kept ‘stash or beard, or longer hair cut, there is nothing wrong with that.

  • silentbob

    What cracks me up is the amount of people on the net in general who are saying this is a good move. Usually, the same ones who would get their knickers in a knot whenever it was pointed out that Kessel wasn’t in very good shape. The biggest response to that was it doesn’t matter if he is overweight he still puts up points so who cares about it. This is the same thing. Being forced to be clean shaven isn’t going to make these guys any better. I don’t care what a player looks like as long as when he is at the rink he is a professional and brings his best effort every night.

    This is just Lou proving that he hasn’t really learned anything and is still the same old has been. His record over the last half decade speaks for itself doesn’t it? I mean being clean shaven and always in a suit and tie has made the devils world beaters hasn’t it?

  • Gary Empey

    Will Lamoriello be paying for the hairdressers and tailors?

    Should all Canadian adult males be required to wear a suit and be clean shaven in public?

    Should the Leaf Nation staff writers be required to wear a suit and shave or just Jeffler?

    Should our young prospects be forced to have to shave anyways?

    Has anyone seen those funeral parlour trend-setting suits Lamoriello wears?

    Did this policy come out of the “Punch Imlach’s Hell in the NHL” book?

    Is this the start of Lamoriello’s reign of terror?

    Will the Leafs finally get the respect from the other 29 teams?

    Can I have their old clothes?

    • silentbob

      Given what the players are making, I’m sure they can afford a couple suits. Most people are required to buy “wok cloths”, without making the kind of money pro-athletes do.

      And yes, many Canadian adults are required to look and/or dress a certain way based on where they work.

      • Gary Empey

        The work clothes hockey players are required to wear are their hockey uniforms.

        Here Lamoriello is telling players what to wear and how they should be groomed when they are not playing hockey. Surely you can see they difference.

        This is Lamoriello showing he has complete control and absolute power in most every aspect of their lives.

        • silentbob

          When they are on the ice. When they aren’t, their employer has said its a suit and tie.

          Many employers have these kind of rule/regulations. Try to walk into a law firm, or large accounting firm, or investment firm or doctors office. Hell even most sale’s/office jobs and you’ll have similar rules. Become a cop and try to grow a beard, see what happens.

          And be a little less dramatic. Having to wear a suit to the arena and when you’re watching a game instead of playing, & having to be “well groomed” is FAR from Lamoriello having “complete control and absolute power in every aspect of their lives”. They want the players to be and act like professionals, that starts with looking professional.

  • Gary Empey

    In what way does wearing a suit and tie make a person look like a professional athlete ?

    If they were accountants, lawyers, or salesman it would make sense.

    • silentbob

      It makes them look professional, the first half “professional athlete”, even the players get that – “Lou just wants us to be pros. Let’s look like pros,” goaltender Jonathan Bernier,”

      And its not like the Leafs are the only team with this kind of dress/apperance code. The Jets sat Kane for a game because he showed up in a track suit, instead of a suit which violated the teams dress code.

  • silentbob

    Mandatory shaving in today’s world? No way. Terrible rule. The Leafs have a lot of highly paid management and you have to hope it isn’t going to result in idiotic top down rules that have nothing to do with how anyone plays hockey.

    Cmon on Lou. Keep it real, it’s not a WWII movie with guys shaving in the bunker. Let the players be themselves and focus everything, but everything, on good play and smart decisions. Not to rub it in, but geez those unkempt Blue Jays sure look good right now.