Peddie pushing for more western Canada

MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

Now that the hunt to find an adviser for general manager John Ferguson officially has been scrapped, Richard Peddie will turn his attention to a lingering issue -- the schedule.

Although it is not on the agenda for next week's board of governors meetings in Chicago, Peddie, the president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., will arrive in the Windy City looking once again to pursue a format that would see the Leafs face western Canadian teams every year.

"That's our unofficial plan," Peddie said last night. "We feel its important. The last time around, I think we were the only team that voted for every proposal that would see us play every team each season.

"We hope to discuss it again. We feel it's important to get back into a rotation that allowed us to face Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and even Detroit every year.

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"I like the way the NBA does it, where (the Raptors) play each Western Conference team home and away."

Peddie confirmed that the likes of Scotty Bowman and John Muckler had been interviewed for the advisory role.

"The search has been over for at least two weeks," he said. "Things didn't work out and, at some point, you have to push ahead in order to be productive for the upcoming season.

"John is very confident in how the team is going to fare this season."

Peddie added that the anticipation for the upcoming season is reflected in the number of season ticket holders who opted to renew their ducats.

"Do you know how few of our 15,700 season-ticket holders opted not to renew? Just four," Peddie said. "I can't remember the number ever being that low."


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