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Okotoks, AB • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
It's been a little while since I've posted a blog... and I have a number of ideas and thoughts on the current state of the Calgary Flames that I would like to address when I find the time...

For now, I want to focus on the tampering allegations toward the Toronto Maple Leafs in regards to the Sedin twins.

I really feel these allegations by the Vancouver Canucks have some legs. I'll provide some of the details, although I'm sure most of you are more than aware of the circumstances...

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs be punished for Ron Wilson's comments in regards to Daniel and Henrik Sedin's impending free agency?

My answer, having dug up some information.

Yes. Absolutely yes.

NHL Bylaw 15 states tampering as such (as taken from the National Post):

"The making or causing to be made through any medium, public or private, any statement indicating any intention or desire of or interest in acquiring the services (of a player on another club)."

Having read that, regardless of your allegiances, don't you have to believe that Wilson broke this rule? It sums up exactly what Ron Wilson said on the radio in Toronto that day.

Some will argue that since Ron Wilson is only the head coach, and not the general manager, that these comments should hold no barring.

I couldn't disagree more.

Ron Wilson is an organizational employee of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He may not be considered "management" by fans and the media, but the head coach of a franchise is certainly up there in the ranks of Team President and General Manager etc. He may be technically at the bottom, but that's really here nor there.

If you were the twins or their agent, J.P Barry, and a premiere team (regardless of actual recent success) announced their intentions to pursue you or your client when the time came, don't you think that gives you an instant upper hand in negotiations with your current franchise? And how about that fact that if your current team is not meeting your needs, you know a rich franchise will be ready and waiting to back the truck up to bring you in? This statement by Ron Wilson, however small and regardless of intention, possibly made a world of difference in the negotiations of the Sedin twins. It should also be said that it's possible this statement made little or no difference to what was happening between Mike Gillis and Barry.

For any of you who haven't actually seen what Wilson said, here it is...

“There's a real possibility, I would think, that we would be going after the Sedins."

Yes, it seems small. But that, to me, clearly announces the teams intentions.


There is some precedent when it comes to tampering in the NHL.

In 1994, the St. Louis Blues extended an offer sheet to Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils. Lou Lamoriello filed tampering charges against the Blues because he felt some contact or intentions had been made previous to the allowed date to extend offer sheets. The NHL later forced the St. Louis Blues to open their books and it was discovered that the offer sheet had been in the Blues books since well before the end of Stevens contract.

It took more than four years for this to be settled, but the Devil's ended up receiving their choice of 1 of the Blues' next five first-round choices and $1.4 million... the Devils also received the ability to swap first-rounders with the Blues once, while the Blues could defer that option once as well.


It's pretty clear that what Wilson said on the Fan 590 is not nearly as severe as what the St. Louis Blues did in their pursuit of Scott Stevens (whom they had just signed from the Washington Capitals the previous season and gave up 5 first-rounders as compensation!), but it's also pretty clear that what Wilson did falls under the NHL's tampering bylaw.

So what should happen here?

I would think the Maple Leafs will likely lose a first-rounder to the Vancouver Canucks in the next few years at the very least. Either that, or a considerable financial sum.

The punishment should not be as severe as compared to what the Blues received, but the reality is; there should be some sort of punishment, and the loss of a first-round pick will not help Brian Burke in his efforts to restore dignity and success to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Filed Under:   Tampering   Maple Leafs   Burke   Wilson  
July 9, 2009 1:05 PM ET | Delete
Since it was only the coach, it should be either a financial sum or a 3rd round pick maximum. Anything more would just be unfair.
July 9, 2009 1:36 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 1:44 PM ET | Delete
The law states "public or private". Does that not basically say that no team can internally have any documents about looking into players on other teams? Calgary definitely had private communication about Jay Bouwmeester before going after him. I think it is fair to punish Toronto because it was a public statement but not too severely because Wilson is lower management. He's not Burke. I do agree this does hurt Toronto a bit if it is a 1st or 2nd round draft pick.
July 9, 2009 2:27 PM ET | Delete
they re signed in vancouver anyway, for the leafs to have to give up a first rounder as punishment would be absolutely ridiculous, especially considering how much more valuable draft picks are now than they were 15 years ago.
July 9, 2009 2:27 PM ET | Delete
There will be no punishment as the Vancouver Canucks have not filed a complaint at all on the Maple Leafs for tampering. And until Gillis were to do such a thing the NHL can investigate all they want.
July 9, 2009 2:46 PM ET | Delete
"We would be going after the twins..." Would, referring to the future when the twins are available. Not "We are going after the twins.."
July 9, 2009 3:06 PM ET | Delete
i think Gillis is holding out because , he wants to deal with Burke right now . ANd this is just anothe rchip in his pile to use.
July 9, 2009 3:14 PM ET | Delete
c'mon folks...they didn't even make it to free agency
July 9, 2009 3:22 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 3:49 PM ET | Delete
there is past precedent.....if the NHL wants its membership to respect the bylaws it must award Vancouver a Toronto 1st round pick....plain
July 9, 2009 4:03 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 4:14 PM ET | Delete
actually the quote was "we MAY be going after the sedins" followed by "lets just speculate there". there is nothing that says that GM burke will definitely be going after the sedin.. merely conjecture.
July 9, 2009 4:16 PM ET | Delete
also, if the league truly wants to look into tampering, then perhaps they should look into how tampa was able to sign ohlund to a complex 7 year deal at 12:05, 5 minutes after free agency began, with (surely) multiple GMs trying to contact his agent simultaneously.
July 9, 2009 4:21 PM ET | Delete
what a stupid stupid blog give it up
July 9, 2009 4:33 PM ET | Delete
this is dumb. the 'precedent' that everyone keeps talking about was St. Louis actually NEGOTIATING with Scott Stevens and agreeing to an offer sheet long before he was an RFA... the only way this situation would be affected by the Stevens incident would be if the Leafs agreed in principle to a deal with the twins a months ago and Burke was flying to get a signature.
July 9, 2009 4:34 PM ET | Delete
for the leafs to give up a high draft pick would be a serious misstep by the league and anyone calling for that needs to give their heads a shake.
July 9, 2009 5:16 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 5:54 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 7:43 PM ET
I agree it's silly. Think about it. Some reporter asks Wilson, "will you guys try to sign the Sedins if they reach free angency?" And he replies "we MAY go after them, let's just speculate there." WTF is wrong with that? And some Vancouver fans want a first round pick out of it. GREEDY. Stuff like this happens all the time. It's just because it was in Toronto.
July 9, 2009 8:20 PM ET | Delete
Gotta love Karma.
July 9, 2009 8:29 PM ET
Karma? Explain.
July 9, 2009 9:37 PM ET | Delete
Burke tried to get the Oilers for tampering with then Anaheim over comments made by Kevin Lowe about Cory Perry. Something along the lines of if Burke didn't want to pay Perry the Oilers would gladly take his contract. Burke had the NHL investigate this and nothing came of it obviously. I guess a man who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw rocks.
July 9, 2009 10:14 PM ET | Delete
if tampering is discussing players under contract to another team. is every team tampering when there is a rumor.
July 9, 2009 10:28 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 11:48 PM ET | Delete
Holy gm, the reporter didn't ask about the sedins at all, Wilson went there all on his own. He also continued to gush about them after the quoted statement.All of this will probably end up being a non-issue anyway. Even though what Wilson said obviously falls under the tampering discription there will be no punishment as this league has shown time and again they discipline based on result not intent and the Sedins are Canucks.
July 10, 2009 2:36 AM ET | Delete
Why wouldn't the Canucks take advantage of Wilson's comments? It's a clear violation of the bylaw. We got a shot at a high first rounder and all we have to do is make some noise....sorry but "c'est la vie".
July 10, 2009 5:52 AM ET | Delete
If they did that they might actually win a Stanley cup! Nobody wants that it's way funnier watching them fall flat on their weiners every spring. Kinda like ground hog day.
July 10, 2009 2:20 PM ET | Delete
July 10, 2009 4:53 PM ET | Delete
July 10, 2009 5:14 PM ET | Delete
A first-round pick is not neccesary here. But if it is a first round pick, can you please make it our 2011 selection?
July 10, 2009 5:50 PM ET
al3535... I see what you're saying but Wilson said what he said. Burke didn't. And Shorty's Ritalin I didn't know Wilson went there on his own. But let's look at this reasonably. There's no way it would be fair for T.O. to lose their picks. These things happen all the time and Wilson comments may have warranted investigation sure but I'm sure the NHL has to find REAL evidence of tampering. They can't punish the Leafs solely on what Wilson said.
July 11, 2009 1:50 AM ET | Delete
Your probably right. If there was going to be an investigation it would probably be underway already.
July 11, 2009 2:10 AM ET | Delete
Of course they should lose a first. By the rule of the law, what Wilson said constitutes tampering. Also, there was a reason he was in Sweden on July 1st and it wasn't for the goalie they signed.
July 11, 2009 3:50 AM ET | Delete
How do you prove that he was in Sweden to sign Mary-Kate and Ashley? He could have been in Sweden looking for another awesome toupee or something. Pretty tough to prove what a persons intentions are and sternly punish them for what you interpret they were thinking. Though it is common knowledge that Brian Burke does like Swedish male twins. So maybe the Canucks do have a case.
July 11, 2009 3:57 AM ET | Delete
kmanus, it is not illegal for a GM to be in Sweden on the first day of free agency. Burke didn't show up at the Sedins doorstep before 12 (never was there at all) so there is not much you can argue about him being in Sweden.
July 11, 2009 8:39 AM ET | Delete
kmanus: on what grounds are you assigning the loss of the 1st round pick... the Sedins playing for Toronto in the foreseeable future? the Leafs negotiating with them before free agency? Wilson's comments are (if worthy of punishment at all... see Lowe, Kevin for precedent) deserving of a fine... nothing more.
July 11, 2009 11:28 AM ET | Delete
July 11, 2009 8:19 PM ET | Delete
July 12, 2009 6:12 AM ET | Delete
I think the leafs have been punished enough for people actually thinking they were actually going to sign the sisters. LOL.
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