Talking to Justin Schultz: Tha’ts a Tamperin’
According to some speculation from reporter Michael Russo the Anaheim Ducks are preparing to file tampering charges with the leauge once Justin Schultz signs elsewhere on July 1st, 2012. While he didn’t name names, this story on the Wisconsin SBN site shows that he believes that Shultz will sign with the Leafs. Ipso Facto, the Ducks will be filing tampering charges with the Leafs. All of this brings up a few questions. (Please note that absolutley none of this begs any questions, you’re using it wrong. Stop.)
Question The First: What is Tampering?
The only place you’ll find the word "tamper" in the CBA is the section on Standard Player Contracts. Article 10 states:
The Player agrees he will not tamper with or enter into negotiations with any Player under SPC or reservation to any Club of the League for or regarding such Player’s current or future services, without the written consent of the Club with which such Player is connected under penalty of a fine to be imposed by the Commissioner of the League.
If Schultz and anyone representing the Leafs have spoken about signing a contract, that would be tampering.
Question Two: So What?
The leauge as well as other GMs view tampering as a No-No. If you’ll recall the Leafs have been charged with tampering in the past. In June of 2009 Ron Wilson mentioned in an interview that he would love for the Sedins to play for the Leafs. As a Canuck, the slightest bit of provocation caused GM Mike Gillis to do everything in his power to give his team an advantage. He filed tampering charges with the NHL. Here is NHL Commisioner Daley’s statement on the NHL’s Findings:
"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.
Question The Third: Will it Come to That?
Probably not. If the Ducks cannot re-sign Schultz by the 22nd of June other teams may begin to negotiate with him but not sign him until the 1st. As many have speculated if they believe they will lose him for nothing they will try to trade his rights to an interested party. So long as the Ducks receive some compensation for him I doubt they’d pursue tampering charges. I’m not going to speculate about what it would cost, but it wouldn’t be much. If Burke does give Murray something for Schultz’s rights I’d expect the tampering charges to go away.
Final Question: Why All the Fuss Over This Kid?
As the article on Bucky’s 5th Quarter points out, Schultz is ready to make the jump to the NHL full-time. Here are some Tweets to get you all a twitter:
Next to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Schultz may be most sought after UFA this summer. Blue chip, Top 4 offensive defenceman prospect. -Bob McKenzie
To add a little On Justin Schultz. NHL ready & a player I feel could be like Drew Doughty. Dynamic & controls game. -Craig Button
I’m not sure how this is all going to play out. My hope: Burke and Murray work out a deal for Schultz’s rights and he signs before July 1st.