Nice suit as always

Brian Burke has undoubtedly been one of the top newsmakers in the NHL within the last week. Come to think of it, Brian Burke is a newsmaker every week when he walks up to a mic. However, in the last seven days his refusal to make any meaningful moves at the deadline, coupled with his prompt dismissal of Ron Wilson despite his “vote of confidence” has people all chatty and stuff.

He’s about to be in the news a little longer.

Everyone’s favorite former Boston Bruins coach with an opinion, Donald S. Cherry, called Burke out tonight on Coach’s Corner for, among other things, his so-called “Americanization” of the Leafs and their lack of Ontario content on the team despite being the big name franchise in the province.

It’s actually one of the more entertaining segments Cherry has done in some time.

While we could debate about which side to take til we’re blue (and white?) in the face, Cherry makes some interesting points about the roster and it’s generally difficult to dispute the fact that they are totally craptacular right now, so I think I’ll leave it to everyone’s favorite blog readership in this one. Burke is no stranger to feuds (see: Lowe, Kevin AND Barn Fight) and it’ll be moderately entertaining to see how this plays out.

Who’s side are you taking gang? Cherry or Burke?

Comments (27)

  1. Don Cherry is only infrequently wrong, he’s 100% right here. Next one to go is Burke, he’s a plant for the USNDTP.

    • Leafs have sucked for over 40+ years (with only a few years of respectability over this stretch). According to Don, you’d think it was all because of a lack of Ontario talent on the team.
      C’mon, Don! If you’ve got a grudge against Burke over your days in Boston, then stick to that subject…

      • I usually agree with Cherry, I think he is way off here. Ontario is still in Canada no? 12 CANADIANS on the Leafs. 7 AMERICANS . 13 ONTARIO BORN PLAYERS in the system (OHL, AHL, JR) including 2 that were drafted just last year. So to say he is Americaninzing the team as Cherry states , he couldn’t be further out there. KNOW YOUR FACTS MR. CHERRY

        • Especially when one of those American-born college players is Phil Kessel (who scored 51 points in his freshman season with Minnesota) and (with the exception of Lupol) is running away with the team scoring race. Don Cherry is an idiot. The game would be a better place if he crawled up his own ass

    • If you trade all your draft picks away al lyou can get are Americans because nobody else wants them

  2. This was epic Don Cherry.

  3. I have to disagree with the don on this one. Who cares where a player is from, if Burke likes him it should not matter where he was born. Just because a player was born in Ontario does not mean he is better than an American born player. I`m sure Burke doesnt look at the players in the league and decide to exclude Ontario born players, in his opinion he just likes some Ameerican ones. Just because in hindsight not all of them pan out does not make it okay to use a broad brush on American players.

    • What should matter is that a given skater plays hockey well… and Cherry is trying to make the subtle (ha) point that there are a friggin’ lot of good hockey players from Ontario. So many good players that it is difficult to find a team that just happens to have a bunch.

      But the Leafs have none? Not even one? I suppose in our universe of infinite possibilities that could happen, but what the hell? And like you say, it may just be Burke’s opinion that the Yanks are better… but it ain’t working… at all.

      That said, I did find that segment a little bold on the anti-Americanism… but I guess you have to be blatant to get your point across when your Don Cherry. :D

    • Hi Brian,
      I agree with you that it shouldn’t matter where a player is from only how good s/he is. But it might make a difference in this particular case for the following reason.

      Players always get jacked up to play in front of their friends and families. The fact that opposing teams always have four or five guys extra-inspired to play against the Leafs is a possible explanation of the Leafs crappy home record.

      I don’t know how Burke can fix this problem; it’s not as if he can sign every Ontario born player. The only way is to hire competent players, coaches, and perhaps general managers.

    • Yes best player should be taken. However Don was responding to a comment made by Brian. Burke stated that it is difficult to play teams at home because tose teams have so many players from Ontario. If you are going to throw out the excuse then reap what you sow.

  4. How many years does it take to make it a trend? Hockey unfortunately has become a business, Grapes has been in the business successfully for a long time and will continue. Burke has had his chance here in Toronto but should leave gracefully. He’s been exposed and out classed by Mr. Don Cherry and I say well done

  5. Cherry’s just grasping at straws trying to get air time. But let’s be serious – our market in TO would rip someone from the area to SHREDS, as fans we put so much pressure on the Leafs that it can be listed as a reason not to come to TO, thanks to the suffocating amount of media and fans – that’s why New York or Boston or Philly can be more attractive locations for players – they can play in a great environment (which the ACC is not) and then blend into the city, not in TO – your life is constantly under scrutiny.

    Fans have to stop being self-righteous and realize that we’re part of the problem as well.

  6. I have to say I was shocked watching Don Cherry last night. Usually I like him, whether or not I agree with him I find he always has some interesting discussion points. But last night’s rant was selfish, National TV is not a place for his personal battles. When you get down to it, Canadians out number Americans on the Leafs. Who cares where in Canada they are from, and honestly who cares if they are from Canada. I love having a home boy on the team if the opportunity comes but its honestly not on the top of my hopes for the Leafs. Burke is a proven winner and the first half of this year should stand to show that he has put some good pieces together. Is it finished yet, no. But I am encouraged by the hiring of Carlyle. I’m not saying I think it was completely Wilson’s fault, this recent slide. but somewhere he lost control of the team, and the ability to help bring them back to form, whether through encouragment or kicking their buts. What really sealed my want for a change was actually Wilson putting lots of the blame on the goalies. Who yes have been struggling, but when confidence is key to a players success, as it is especially for goalies, you should be trying to build them up. They know they aren’t playing well. I’m still a fan of Burke’s. No nonsense, not going to make a huge deal at deadline just to have made one. I don’t know much about the Ashton guy but I would have been fine in making no trades. The team can play. They just need a more rigorous coach to jog their memories to remember it and get it out of them day in day out.

  7. Go back and look at all Burkes cocky interviews from a few years back. He was going to do this and that…save us all. Yes take the best players available. Can you honestly say he hasnt gone out of his way to sign some very below avg Americans?
    How has Burke done so far? Not much.Wake up fellas.

  8. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t cherry singing burke’s praises when he was with the ducks and was (one of?) the team with the most Canadians? He obviously (IMO) has nothing against Canadians, and likely nothing against Ontarians. He also tried to sign/trade-for Cammaleri, Nash, and tried to trade up for Tavares a few years ago — all Ontario boys. Furthermore, the Leafs had 3 first round picks under Burke (one in ’09, none in ’10, two in ’11), two of three of those picks were Ontario boys. Not to mention the new coach he hired is also from Ontario.

    The point that visiting ontario players get jacked up doesn’t mean that they’d play just as well when they’re on the home side. Everyone is aware of the pressures of playing in a Canadian market, and being a hometown boy would just add to that. I agree with burke that it takes a special type of player to play for a big market canadian team.

    All that being said, is it weird that the leafs don’t have a single ontario player? Yes. But do I think Burke is against having Ontario players on his team? No. Do I think cherry is a moron? Most of the time.

  9. It seems Burke is starting to feel the pressure of playing in a market that has every right to be concerned about being worried about not making the playoffs again. Any of the legitimate hockey markets whose team hasnt made the playoffs for years and is on the brink of not doing it again would be just as upset. The market for Toronto is the same as its always been, passionate hockey fans who a waiting to cheer and cheer loud for a winning team. Burke has had success and I am still hoping he can achieve it here but with his complaining about the media and how unfair and rough it is to play hockey there seems to me to be someone who has lost his focus and maybe his committment to put together a winning team. Cherry was more pissed at him for trying to get him fired, about going to the CBC and the board of govenors to complain about him and the media.

    ANd for all you people that think CHerry is a moron, it has always been his idea to support our troops live on the air and to take his airtime to support kids and fellow Canadians triails.

  10. Who cares where the players are from as long as the team wins. When Ron Maclean tried to call him out by citing the Detroit example of stocking up on great Swedish talent, he avoided answering the question. I really don’t know what his problem is with stacking the Leafs with Americans considering that Don Cherry’s life ideologies are nothing less than the stereo-typical American. He’s a red-neck nationalist who supports the military without question, hates people he’s never met because they are different or from another country and takes pride in accomplishments that he had absolutely nothing to do with.

    • Difference between that team and this team is that, this team isn’t winning and hasn’t won sh!t for the past few years.

    • You’re right, Cherry is a redneck…probably a bigot too. But he definitely knows hockey and anyone who can’t see Burke’s pro-American bias is blind. Cherry isn’t being anti-American, he’s being pro-Ontario. If you’re gonna lose, at least lose with your own.

  11. How very convenient that there was a plug for his movie right after his ignorant rant.


    SOME of you guys are idiots! How can you say Cherry is wrong? Burke hasn’t made playoffs in how long??? Seriously we’re talking playoffs not winning the cup. MAKING PLAYOFFS!!!!

    And people still think he’s on to something?!?! If you haven’t noticed every superstar wants to play for the leafs. But somehow they never make it on the team. Most recently Rick Nash…..

    It’s funny how the Winnipeg Jets are gonna make it in and the leafs are still playing with their (golf) balls…. For the 8th season in a row!

  13. Also, Brian Burke drafted Nazem Kadri.

  14. First of all it’s not about being anti-American or anti-Western/Eastern Canadian, it’s about having HOMETOWN kids (Ontario) playing for the Leafs. Secondly, if what Cherry is saying is true about Burke going behind Cherry’s back to try and get him fired, then that’s a dirty/classless move by Burke.

  15. Every great hockey team is built on 3 things. 1. Core Talent (Canadian, American or European 2. Great Draft Picks/Trades/Free Agents 3. Pipeline/Young Prospects. What has Burke done as a GM in Toronto?
    He has brought in Phanouf, Lopul, Kessel and is building around that talent. Phanouf is playing better in Toronto than he did in Calgary and is a decent leader.
    Goaltending and defense is not good. His drafing and the lack of movement at this years trade deadline (garnish draft picks/address on ice issues) has been poor to say the least. His pipeline of young prospects is poor. He has spent a ton of money and made a ton of deals but the Maple Leafs are still a mediocre hockey team and will have a tough time cracking the top 8 in the East this year and in years to come. Cherry has issues with Burke and i believe it is captured in the above statements. He’s just using the Toronto talent pool as his lightinng rod.

  16. Brian Burke stated in his HNIC interview on Saturday that Ontario players have their best games in front of family and friends in Toronto and that it makes it tough for his team to win.

    Grapes points out that the leafs have no players from Ontario on the roster.

    You would think the bulb would go on in Burke’s head, realizing that he should have some Ontario players on his team if they play better in Toronto. Grapes made this very simple point. Of course the Don Cherry hating blowhards and Burke’s bootlickers didn’t understand the simple point made by Grapes and Ron Mclean.

    Does Burke know how stupid he looks for complaining about how hard Ontario NHLers play in Toronto then not have any on his roster?

    Burke do you really believe you will win a war of words with Don Cherry? The 7th greatest Canadian of all time as voted on by Canadians.

    Coaches Corner and CBC get the highest marks for standing up to Brian Burke and others who want to stop free speech

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