Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is a company that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, and and Toronto FC. As you’re likely aware, they basically print money.

They own the wildly popular/expensive “Real Sports” bar located just outside the Air Canada Center, and it’s a hotspot for hockey and wealthy people, which means it’s a perfect fit for NHL hockey players, who fit those requirements perfectly. It even has a lounge up top that Leafs players can enjoy without being hassled by fans. Hey, neato.

However, as the National Post pointed out yesterday, it appears as though Real Sports has been made off-limits by MLSE.

Deep cuts, brutha.

This is a bizarre, petty thing that should further the ill-will between the two sides, which should be good. If hockey is going to go down in flames, it might as well be a blaze.

***

UPDATE:

Nah. You’re good.

Comments (13)

  1. Reservations aren’t some privilege that employees get. It is something that is customarily available to the public. So this unnecessary insult is actually unlawful and grounds for a civil suit (pretty hard to make a case for serious damages though I guess).

    • I don’t think Lupul would care about the damages. Although, the way it sounds is that the reservation is not available to the public. Clubs are allowed to be exclusive, so long as they are not excluding based on race/sex/etc. They could say the club is for non-Leaf players only, and I don’t think that would be unlawful.

      • It’s not a club. It’s a sports bar. Anybody can make a reservation … unless your a Leafs player it seems.

        • One thing I learned about the Real Sportsbar is they don’t do reservations on the main floor where the giant screen is. Perhaps he has an inside track on those as a Leaf dude.

  2. Easy there JLupul. I am pretty sure not a damn soul is spending $300 on your Jersey.
    If they are then you should be pretty excited.

  3. A player, who is currently unemployed, due to his profession being on strike, is bitching and moaning that he can’t get into one of the most expensive sports joints in the city. Yes. I feel for you Joffrey. One day the world will be fair, and you and I will dine as brothers. Derp.

  4. @JimmyV Your post might make some sense if the players were actually on strike. The truth is that they have been locked out by the owners. It’s not the same thing in any way. It’s for that reason a I have a bit more sympathy for the players than the owners although the majority of my sympathy is for the game day employees and the merchants in the vicinity of the ACC who are hurting badly by the lock out.

    I do look at this act as being very, very petty though. Anybody can make reservations at RealSports so to ban Maple Leafs player from being able to book a reservation is more than a bit ridiculous in my opinion.

  5. Just sneak a Mickey into your large pop at McDonald’s. they have big screens now!

  6. Flip it around: why would Leafs players want to support their evil owners’ business endeavours?

    Why would MLSE want to allow the possibility of their watering hole becoming a focal point of PA gatherings? Why should they want to risk the optics of supporting/endorsing player meetings?

    Of course it’s ridiculous and petty. What labour negotiation isn’t?

  7. I’m no labor lawyer, but I have seen the silliness that is sometimes legally required between an owners/unions. Any hint of direct contact or potential benefit offered by a company to unionized employees during a labor negotiation can lead to potential lawsuits.

    So it’s possible that a place like RealSports, which typically would provide special benefits to Leafs players, has to be off limits. Something as innocent as a server providing a free drink or discounted meal or special seating could be construed as an owner operating outside the collective bargaining environment.

    I’d want more details before I hammered MLSE on this one.

    That said, both the owners and players can kiss my ass…

    • Yeah, that whole “direct contact” thing can cost owners a huge amount of money in fines, so I don’t think it’s totally preposterous. I just enjoy how indignant it made Lupul.

  8. It’s a tough life when you have to stand in line like the common folks. JL might want to contact Dan Ellis for some tips on how to survive.

  9. He was “rattled” by not being able to make a reservation at a restaurant? Real thick skin on this one.

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