Gillis To File Tampering Charges On Leafs; Update: Leafs Fined
It seems as though enough is enough for Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis as he is looking into filing tampering charges against the Toronto Maple Leafs after Brian Burke's most recent comments on a Leafs TV behind the draft special mentioning that the Canucks were offering both Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa for the second overall draft pick, Victor Hedman, in this past summers draft.
This is not the first time the Leafs have been under the gun as this past summer Leafs coach Ron Wilson stated on radio that the Leafs would be interested in signing the Sedin twins prior to them re-signing with the Canucks this past summer. That is blatant tampering as you are not allowed to discuss players that are under contract with other teams. Yet the league has yet to do anything about it. Whether they swept it under the rug or are still investigating is unknown. Say what you want about the rules of tampering, what Ron Wilson did was obvious and the league should not require much investigation.
It took the NHL several months to act on the Jonas Frogren signing that saw the Maple Leafs fined $500,000 while also surrendering a draft pick. Therefore it could be several more months before a decision to this will be handed down by the league. But if the Leafs should be found guilty on both accounts, they could be in for some rough times. Tampering can bring some serious penalties in the form of lost 1st round picks. The Leafs recently sent their next two first round picks to Boston in the Phil Kessel trade.
Mike Gillis on TEAM1040 this morning...
"There are certainly some issues that the league needs to take control off when players' names are being thrown around. You're talking about lives and families and those things need to be kept confidential when you may be discussing a transaction of some type. There was a mention of player's names, which was very upsetting for them, and it doesn't make me feel very good.
Listen, I don't anticipate a fight with anybody, however we're going to protect the integrity of this organization and our players. If anybody wants to take a shot at them inappropriately, we're going to protect our interests."
10/07 (5:50pm EDT) Update: TSN is reporting that the NHL has imposed a fine to the Toronto Maple Leafs as a result of Ron Wilson's comments regarding his desire to sign the Sedin twins this offseason. However, no action will be taken in the most recent incident in regards to Brian Burke's comments made on a Leafs TV documentary. It does look like the NHL will be keeping an eye on the Leafs and any further incident regarding the Canucks could lead to some more serious ramifications for Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
NHL Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly, released this statement.
I confirm the following:
"That Ron Wilson, Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, violated the provisions of NHL By-Law 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his Club's potential interest in negotiating with Daniel and Henrik Sedin prior to such time as those players' existing contracts with Vancouver had expired. The League has imposed a fine on the Maple Leafs' organization as a result;
That after a thorough investigation of all the relevant facts and circumstances, the League has found no evidence whatsoever to support Vancouver's broader concerns that the Toronto Maple Leafs' organization may have engaged in any other conduct or activities vis-à-vis the Sedins that were in contravention of the League's rules or policies relating to tampering;
That while unfortunate and inappropriate, the inclusion of a brief reference to the names of a pair of current Vancouver Canucks players in a television segment that aired once on Leafs TV last week did not constitute a tampering offense under League rules, and that no League action will be taken, or League sanction imposed on the Maple Leafs' organization as a result.
The Maple Leafs have been advised that the League likely would impose discipline for any future inappropriate conduct on their part that may cause, or may reasonably be perceived to cause, damage to the Canucks' franchise, or its relationship with its existing players and/or employees.
Both Clubs have been advised of these findings, and both have been instructed to refrain from further public comment of any kind relating to these matters. From the League's perspective, this matter is closed. We will make no further comment."