Maple Leafs ban ‘Sign Stamkos’ signs from arena

Via @erlendssonTBO
Via @erlendssonTBO

The Tampa Bay Lightning visited Toronto on Tuesday night, at a time when the idea of their star Steven Stamkos taking his talents to Ontario this summer has become a local obsession.

Stamkos is a pending unrestricted free agent, seeking an NHL record contract; the Toronto Maple Leafs are the League’s most cash-rich team, with the prerequisite cap space.

Capitalizing on that hysteria, TSN 1050 produced signs for fans to bring to the game that simply read “SIGN STAMKOS.”

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One problem: They couldn’t actually bring them into the Air Canada Centre.

According to several reporters at the game, the Leafs said that “third party” or “unauthorized sponsors’” signs are not allowed at games. The game was shown on Sportsnet, TSN's arch nemesis.

Homemade signs? They’re fine. So maybe next time TSN 1050 just sets up a table in front of the ACC with posterboard and markers like they have at wrestling events …

Of course, the oddest part of this situation is that TSN is owned by Bell Media, which also owns the Toronto Maple Leafs. So when the co-owner of the team is openly campaigning to have a player leave his team and join theirs … something something tampering something.