Kevin Lowe Cleared of Tampering Charges

Ian WilsonCorrespondent ISeptember 4, 2008

The NHL has made the not-so-surprising decision to clear Kevin Lowe of tampering charges leveled against him by Anaheim GM Brian Burke.

The Ducks asked the league to investigate comments Lowe made about forward Corey Perry in July. The former GM of the Oilers, who was promoted to president of hockey operations this summer, told an Edmonton radio station that the Oilers would gladly take Perry off the Ducks' hands if Burke needed help with Anaheim's salary cap woes.

Although the comment was made in jest, Burke wasn't laughing. Instead of ignoring the jab, the fiery GM did what he has so often during his ongoing feud with Lowe, he decided to throw a little gas on the fire.

Only this time, Burke's actions didn't just provide reporters with something to fill the sports pages with on a slow summer day. His futile attempt at getting back at Lowe involved dragging the league into a mess they wanted no part of and a case that Burke knew he had no chance of winning.

The tampering charge was an absurd allegation and a waste of NHL resources and that's why Lowe was cleared. The only surprise in the matter is that the league didn't rule sooner.

While the NHL hasn't disclosed the findings of the investigation, deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Orange County Register it's "up to the clubs as to whether they want to share that information publicly." 

With a league-issued gag order in place to stop the public squabbling between Lowe and Burke, it's unlikely either team will do so.

And, what was Burke's take on the NHL's decision?

"Needless to say, we have a different view, but this will end the matter," he told the Register.

We can only hope it does end the matter, although something tells me gums will be flapping once the season gets underway.