Speltz leaving Chiefs, heading to the Leafs

Speltz leaving Chiefs, heading to the Leafs

Tim Speltz, the Spokane Chiefs general manager who has served with the team since 1990, has been hired to recruit players for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Speltz has been hired to serve as the Director of Western Area Scouting for the Leafs, but plans to continue living in Spokane, which he said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference was an important factor in his decision to leave the Chiefs for the Leafs.

“The opportunity I’ve been presented with by Toronto is extraordinary and is something that I couldn’t pass up,” Speltz continued. “I am excited to take on a new challenge and get started with such an iconic NHL franchise. I am also very grateful that I’ll be able to assist in the Chiefs’ transition to a new general manager as well as continue to call Spokane home for my family.”

His hiring by Toronto will be a reunion of sorts as the Leafs’ head coach is Mike Babcock, who coached the Chiefs from 1994 through 2000.

During his tenure in Spokane with the Chiefs the team has made the playoffs 23 times out of the 26 years he’s been GM and secured Memorial Cup and WHL victories in 1991 and 2008.

“I am thrilled at this opportunity for Tim,” said Chiefs’ managing partner Bobby Brett. “He has been a big part of our success as well as a close personal friend. We will be looking for a new general manager who can continue to build on the foundation that Tim has helped establish with the Chiefs.”

Speltz will stay with the team through their upcoming training camp at the end of the month and assist in transition efforts as the Chiefs begin their search for a new GM.