As I reported yesterday, the Vancouver Canucks sought out league action after accusing the Toronto Maple Leafs of tampering. It seems that the allegations carried some weight, as the Leafs’ organization has now been fined an “undisclosed amount” by the NHL.
According to the league, Leafs head coach Ron Wilson broke the NHL’s tampering bylaw when he made comments during a radio interview about Vancouver’s Sedin twins and the possibility of them coming to Toronto. Leafs GM Brian Burke was exonerated on his charges, however, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
The league statement, issued by Bill Daly, stated that Wilson’s actions “violated the provisions of NHL Bylaw 15 relating to inappropriate public comments by speaking generally to his club’s potential interest in negotiating with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.”
The statement concluded by saying that the league didn’t think Burke’s actions, which included comments on Leafs TV about a potential Vancouver trade with Tampa Bay, constituted tampering in the sense in which Canucks GM Mike Gillis suggested. The NHL also warned the Leafs against similar actions in the future.
As expected, this is a slap on the wrist for two incidents that clearly break league bylaws. But Burke’s special treatment is expected, due to his close relationship with league boss Gary Bettman, and the league’s less-than-harsh treatment of this issue is the status quo when Toronto is the centre of the hockey universe.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.