As probably 95+ per cent of Oilers’ fans remember, after a year of biting his tongue despite Brian Burke’s repeated jabs, Lowe finally snapped in an interview on the Team 1260 (highlights here).
The comments that brought Burke’s request for an investigation are as follows:
“Corey Perry is a hell of a player. What I really want to say about his (Brian Burke’s) bickering about parity and the salary cap is if you’re unhappy about them, then trade him our way. We’ll be glad to have him.”
The request for an investigation was, in my opinion, hockey’s equivalent of a nuisance suit. While commenting on a player under contract to another team isn’t the smartest thing for an NHL general manager to do, it certainly didn’t amount to tampering (defined by Wikipedia as: “a practice, usually prohibited, of a team negotiating for the services of an athlete or coach contracted to another team without that team’s permission”).
Naturally, though, Burke had more to say on the matter. Again courtesy of Dan Wood:
“The league investigated and informed us that in their opinion, it did not constitute tampering,” Burke said. “The league ruled it was inappropriate commentary but was not tampering, which is a bizarre construction. In other words, either you cross the line or you don’t. Needless to say, we have a different view, but this will end the matter.”
I’d comment on Burke’s latest comments, but in all honesty, what’s the point? The moderation and classiness on display from the man has been consistent since his first vitriol-spewing news conference, immediately after Penner was signed, and it’s all been said before.
—Jonathan Willis is the owner of Copper & Blue, a blog dedicated to all things Oil, and a frequent contributor to OilersNation.com.