The stupidity of these so called Tampering charges

October 7th, 2009 by Burgundy Leave a reply »

Recently, Mike Gillis and the Vancouver Canucks filed tampering charges against Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Before I get into the stupidity of tampering charges, I’d like to remind everyone that Gary Bettman and the NHL rarely do anything without 3-4 months of courtroom drama which ultimately leads to no decisions and takes far too long doing so. End result: no one really cares anyways. Good luck with the filings, Mike Gillis.

I don’t get Tampering.

It seems pretty silly to me.

I guess it started earlier this summer. The Toronto Maple Leafs pissed off the Gills and the Vancouver Canucks when coach Ron Wilson suggested Burke had interest in Daniel and Henrik Sedin (who at the time were scheduled to be unrestricted free agents on July 1st). I don’t really see what’s wrong with that. Aside from Burke’s obvious history with the Sedins (he did move mountains to draft both Sedins second and third overall at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft), the Leafs needed (and still need!!) high end offensive players and the Sedins are pretty damn good. Makes sense so far, right?

Instead of getting mad about Wilson’s comments or Burke’s intents, Mike Gills should of said, “Yeah, duhh” and moved on. Every GM probably wanted the Swedish twins. I don’t see a problem publicly stating that.

Then more recently (and ironically!!), Toronto’s official Leafs TV revealed Burke ousting a potential Vancouver Canucks-Tampa Bay Lightning trade at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The rumored deal included Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows and their 2009 22nd overall pick (Jordan Schroeder) for Tampa’s 2nd overall pick (Victor Hedman). Side note: Probably a good thing Tampa didn’t take the trade. Vancouver’s Team1040 has the actual clip, here.

Now, I really like Mike Gillis (read why here). But is this whole tampering thing a not-so-clever way to divert attention from the 0-3 Canucks and their poor start to the 2009-2010 NHL season?

Gills has reason to be upset about Burke outing players names in the trade mentioned above. Brian Burke is guilty of bad judgement – kind of a GM no-no. But it also shows others were in the know and told Burke.

I don’t see this as tampering. Perhaps poor judgement and brutal honesty are more reasonable accusations.

Before I end, I wanted to point out several points of stupidity in this mess:

  • Why would Leafs TV release potentially damaging audio of their Presdient/CEO? Definite Career-Limiting-Move.
  • Why would the Lightning/Canucks organizations not keep a tighter lid on this his profile trade? What does this say about their organizations?
  • Would Mike Gillis have known about Burke’s ‘tampering act’ had it not been for Leafs TV?
  • Every GM/Agent talk to each other prior to July 1st. How else do you think big dollar/long term deals are announced 1 minute into free agency?
  • Aren’t the Canucks still under investigation by the NHL for the Roberto Luongo deal?

What a disaster. Glad I can still make fun of it.

Stay classy, NHL tamperers.

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  1. The Fly says:

    Couple things…

    I agree with you that nothing will come out of this besides maybe Burke getting a “stern” talking to from Gary which will result in Brian leaving the room in tears…


    1) If memory serves me correctly, I believe Gillis, when he first got the job, was talking about players on another team and was spoken to by the league. I think it’s more of Gillis wanting everyone to have to play by the same rles.

    2) Burke sided with Tom Gilardi’s group when it came to the spat that Gilardi and Francesco Aquilini had over the ownership of the Canucks.

    If I were a betting man, I’m pretty sure that Burke would like to punch Aquilini in the face.

    If he wasn’t such a nice guy, Nonis would probably wnat that too.

    So it’s pretty obvious that Burke has ill-feelings towards the Canucks still and is trying to poke em with a stick at any chance he gets.

    3) Nothing in Canuck land can avert attention from the Nucks 0-3 start.

    The Fly

  2. Tambland says:

    Haha. “Nothing in Canuck land can avert attention from the Nucks 0-3 start.”

    It’s so true. I’m so glad the Sens won last night.

  3. AndrewK says:

    Regardless of what insider had the poor judgment to let slip to Burke the information regarding this potential trade, Burke should have the good sense and class necessary to keep this information out of the hands of media. He should have known better and deserves to be ripped on because of this.

  4. Burgundy says:

    @ Andrew – Ripped, yes. Tampering charges, no. I agree with the no class. Its just bad judgement. The only thing I’m not clear on is if Burke let the information out on an interview or if it was a team/staff meeting or something.

    @ Tambland – Yes, great game. That save from Pazzy at the end reminded me a little of the Marc-Andre Fleury save in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Just a little.

    @ The Fly – I like your points about the Canucks/Burke rivalry. For whatever reason, I get the feeling Gillis doesn’t like Burke, too. Maybe its an old agent-GM feud?

  5. kabutar says:

    Just a quick note – I think the TB/Van comments by Burke came out just before the 0-3 start and it’s been circulating since the, so I doubt it’s a diversionary tactic :)

  6. AndrewK says:

    Burke is a big flaming ball of controversy who loves getting media attention. He thrives on that. Tampering charges allot a fine to it to make sure that he doesn’t get involved in another team’s business again. I’m disappointed nothing was handed out directly due to his poor judgment, but at least he’ll be a bit more humble between now and the Leafs’ first win.

  7. The Fly says:


    Oh I’m 100% sure that Gillis doesn’t like Burke at all.

    I don’t know if it’s an agent/gm feud type of thing or an old gm/new gm rivalry type of thing… or if it’s just cause Brian is, well, Brian. lol.

    Gillis is a personality himself, not anywhere on Burkie’s level, mind you, but when you listen to him do the weekly interviews on the radio he is a character. In fact, I had a conversation about this with a friend about a week ago.

  8. Burgundy says:

    @ The Fly – I think I’m going to change my name from Burgundy to The Fly. Its just so cool. We’ll see there… As far as Gillis, while I don’t get the same kind of exposure you do to him, but he does indeed seem like a character. Personally, I like his decision making and the way he really seems to think decisions through. Its a refreshing change to the “Ready…Fire…Aim” strategy other GMs (Sather) employ. All of Gillis’ moves appear extremely calculated.

    @ Andrew – To me, this whole tampering thing can be chalked up to a PR win for the Leafs. If nothing else, it tells Leafs fans the Wilson/Burke monster is serious about winning (or wanting to win) at any cost. They aren’t making any bones about it either. That’s a good thing for Leafs fans who’ve seen recent GMs seemingly not care about winning. I don’t know if you’ll ever see Burke humbled… :)

  9. The Fly says:


    ….except for the Sundin 2 year/$20 mil contract… but we can chalk that up to him getting too giddy about his first free agent frenzy….hahaha

  10. Burgundy says:

    Yeah. A bit of a blunder there. Not defending Gillis here – that’s too much money for Sundin in his prime, however, that was an offer made to a presumably in shape Sundin who would start the contract in September like every other NHL player. Sundin’s impact on the Canucks would likely have been much bigger if he hadn’t missed half the season. Now, that said I’m guessing he would of had anywhere between 65-80 points. Again, still not worth the $10M per season.

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