Leafs’ Wilson fined for Sedin comments

It’s been a rough start to the season for the Toronto Maple Leafs on the ice and in the wallet.

The club earned an undisclosed fine from the NHL Wednesday in regards to head coach Ron Wilson’s comments about the Leafs’ pursuit of Vancouver’s Henrik and Daniel Sedin before they became unrestricted free agents on July 1st.

In an interview with the Fan 590 radio station on June 30, Wilson said “there’s a real possibility, I would think, that we would be going after the Sedins.”

Bill Daly, the league’s deputy commissioner, released a statement saying  Wilson violated an NHL by law by speaking “generally” about the Leafs’ interest in the twins.

“The League has imposed a fine on the Maple Leafs’ organization as a result.”

Wilson is yet to comment on the decision, but Leafs general manager Brian Burke told the Toronto Star on July 8, “If the league decides we’ve crossed the line here and they punish us, then we’ll accept that. You won’t hear a peep out of us.”

However, Wilson was not the only member of the Leafs organization who had been under the NHL microscope.

On Monday, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told the Team 1040 radio station in Vancouver his club had been discussing possible tampering charges with the league for comments Burke had made during this year’s entry draft.

The fiery GM wore a microphone during the June weekend, as part of a future Leafs TV feature.

During the taping he discussed a potential deal involving the Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning — an attempt by Vancouver to secure the second overall pick.

The Canucks players involved in the deal were reportedly defenceman Kevin Bieksa, left winger Alexandre Burrows as well as the team’s first-round selection (22nd overall).

An NHL statement said while releasing Burke’s comments was “unfortunate and inappropriate,” it did not constitute tampering.

There would be no fine in this case.

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By: Ryan Glassman
Posted: Oct 7 2009 8:10 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports