The Toronto Maple Leafs were apparently the subject of complaints from other NHL teams because they left their facility open to players during the off-season.
For the past few years, the NHL has tried its best to maintain parity across the league which in turn has taken away certain advantages that big-spending teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs would like to have available to them.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, some NHL teams have complained to the league about the Leafs allowing players to use the team facilities during the off-season. This was apparently deemed a disadvantage especially for the number of prospects that got the chance to participate in workouts with the team’s NHL players.
"“Toronto was a team that, a lot of their prospects, or a number of them, would come to Toronto in the summer and they’d work out at the practice facility and they really improved as players,” Friedman said on the Fan 590. “And teams were like we don’t like that.”"
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
Players have tried to find any way to gain a competitive advantage which is why skill coaches along with health and fitness trainers have become the main component of off-season training. So when individual players are participating in these drills and not using team facilities that doesn’t appear to be an issue.
However, since it’s the Leafs and they have the means to keep the Ford Performance Centre (which is open year-round for other camps and events) it is a problem for other teams not willing to spend the money to do the same.
Not only that, but the Leafs were asked to not have on-ice referees and officials be a part of training camp because as head coach Sheldon Keefe explained, other teams don’t have those resources so Toronto won’t be allowed to either. You can bet this came after a call was made by the league.
This apparently wasn’t a problem when the Winnipeg Jets had brought in a retired NHL referee to help them with their “penalty problems,” and yet when the Leafs do it, it’s considered an unfair advantage.
It’s not like other NHL teams have tried to find a way to get an advantage when possible like the Arizona Coyotes draft scandal which has not had an update since reports came out saying there was an investigation. Imagine the conversation between Gary Bettman or Bill Daly with Brendan Shanahan about this, you have to think it would be a bit humorous.
To think that NHL teams are complaining about the Leafs having a competitive advantage when you consider that the team hasn’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967 it’s tough to see what benefit they have received. Not only that but the NHL has purposely put restraints on the Leafs and other money earning teams in order to help cash strapped ones.
At some point, you have to wonder if the Leafs or the fanbase get to a point where they have enough with the NHL setting limits that you rarely see with the other professional sports leagues. If this were the Los Angeles Lakers or the New York Yankees, this wouldn’t be a conversation.
Instead, the NHL continues to show that even though the Leafs help the league financially, it means nothing especially when they try to find creative and reasonable ways to improve the team.
What do you think about this apparent complaint against the Leafs? Is it warranted or is the NHL going too far in this scenario? Let us know in the comments below.