— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) December 15, 2015
We all had a little bit of a chuckle at the “Sign Stamkos” posters that a Toronto Radio station printed out to give to fans tonight, but it looks like the team understood the questionable optics of allowing a campaign to woo an opponent to go on, especially when the bosses of the radio station are also the bosses of the hockey team. The Leafs responded before tonight’s game by banning the signs entirely; though ones like the sign you see above were by and large allowed.
Just got to ACC for Lightning/Leafs… Was told they’re not letting people in with Leafs/Stamkos signs. I shit you not.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) December 15, 2015
The speculation, at first, was that the Leafs were going with a full-scale silencing of the apologists in the crowd, but as it turns out, the ban was only on the TSN 1050 signs for being promoted content from a non-approved sponsor. As an occasional broadcaster of Leafs games on the radio and asset of Bell Media, 1050 are far from blacklisted by the Leafs, but rejecting the signs both shows that they aren’t endorsing the message, and that companies can’t get around sponsorship fees by camping outside the rink.
If nothing else, it keeps the tampering talk from escalating to the league level and buries these signs as a little more than a mildly successful publicity stunt.
I’m told by Leafs PR that homemade signs are allowed at the Leafs game, just no unauthorized sponsor signs.
— Christine Simpson (@SNChrisSimpson) December 15, 2015