MLSE is an easy target--they are rich, only interested in the bottom line, evil, whatever. Even here we have been known to do a little MLSE bashing from time to time.
So, I think, it's only fair that the critics take the time to point out when the company does something worthwhile.
It's easy to be cynical about the motivations of MLSE and Home Depot. However you have to be careful not to cross the line from cynical to bitter. Cynicism can be confused with wisdom, whereas bitterness is just kinda ugly.
Ultimately I doubt the kids that are playing hockey on the refurbished rinks next winter are going to care one bit that the two companies want to sell their mom a 10-game Raptors flex pack and their dad some new kitchen cabinets.
There is little doubt that MLSE understands how to make money and enjoys doing just that. So what? They aren't any different than any other big company and, the last I checked, we are still living in a capitalist society.
As a sports fan all you should care about is whether the suits are trying to put a winning product on the pitch/court/ice. There is no evidence MLSE isn't doing that.
Let me just repeat that:
There is no evidence that MLSE isn't trying to put a winning product on the pitch/court/ice.
Note that the suggestion here isn't that MLSE is any good at putting a winning product on the field. No, no one could possibly make that argument. But, they are trying. The Leafs have always spent a ton of money. The Raptors are $1,500 below the cap (I suppose you could argue that they should move into luxury tax zone, but we don't know that they won't if the Raps ever get close enough to make it worth their while). TFC, for all its faults, spends.
MLSE is not cheap. It's incompetent, but not particularly cheap.
But, none of that takes away from the fact that fixing up hockey rinks for kids is a nice thing to do. So, good on MLSE and Home Depot.