Leafs disciplined by NHL for handling of Frogren contract

Darren Dreger

4/1/2009 8:21:26 PM

The National Hockey League has disciplined the Toronto Maple Leafs for their handling of defenceman Jonas Frogren's contract last summer.

Sources say the Leafs have been fined $500,000 for paying Frogren a $755,000 signing bonus which violated the CBA. The Maple Leafs will also have to pay an additional penalty in the form of a draft pick.

''The Toronto Maple Leafs acknowledge and apologize for the error of judgement,'' Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said in a statement. ''The club accepts the punishment handed down by the league and will not be commenting further on the matter.''

It's believed Frogren used a portion of the signing bonus - $400,000 - to get out of the final year of his contract with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League.

The issue surrounds the amount Frogren received in the signing bonus as the NHL deemed Frogren to be an entry level player at the time.

According to sources, Toronto didn't agree with the leagues stand and paid the large signing bonus anyway. 

NHL deputy commissioner, Bill Daly, confirmed the sanctions to TSN.

"We can confirm that the Toronto Maple Leafs have been sanctioned by the league for violations of league rules in connection with the club's 2008 signing of Jonas Frogren, and that one aspect of the league-imposed discipline requires the forfeiture of the club's fourth round draft pick in the 2009 Entry Draft (previously acquired from Tampa Bay). We have no further comment on the matter."

Frogren signed a two-year contract with the Leafs last July and this decision by the NHL will not impact his contractual status with the team.