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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don Cherry and Brian Burke — More Fuel Added to the Fire

Regarding their battle, previously I stated:

Brian Burke’s current battle with Don Cherry is pretty absurd in my opinion. Why? Management and players in the NHL are making a lot of money because they are in the public eye as part of professional competition, and since they are competing and fans are paying, every fan has the right to be critical and so do commentators and analysts. If Burke does not like Don Cherry’s comments about Ron Wilson—too bad! There is a very good chance that the Leafs will miss the playoffs again and much of the blame rests on Burke himself and also on Ron Wilson. Burke wants special treatment that he does not deserve. I have a solution to the problem: Shove a soother in Burke’s mouth!”

To those statements I would add that the CBC has allowed Cherry (for years) to raise his voice (and, unfortunately, also be rude to Ron MacLean) and to state how he feels regarding players, coaches, management and other topics. Burke knows full well that Cherry has been given the okay to say pretty much what he wants on HNIC, and therefore Burke really has no business trying to get Cherry fired (or in trouble). You know, I must say that the CBC loves the ratings that Don Cherry has helped them get over the years, just as they love the ratings that Kevin O’Leary gives them—and don’t ask me why people support that slug because he has no respect for other people. By the way, the CBC ought to be ashamed for covering-up for O’Leary, and allow me to explain. I wrote a letter of complaint about how rudely he treated Amanda Lang during a program, and what he did was, like a six-year-old boy, began to demand over and over again (on National TV) that she apologize to him because he was right and she was wrong about something. Well, within a few weeks of my complaint they had a new commercial on the TV saying how they had a great love-hate relationship. Give me a break.

Cherry Blasts Burke On Coaches Corner About American Players on the Leafs

In the March 3, 2012 episode of Coach’s Corner, Cherry decided to publicly pull down Burke’s pants by exposing him for purposely acquiring and playing many American players. To be more specific, Cherry pointed-out that every team in the NHL has at least one player from Ontario except Burke’s Leafs, who, are located in Ontario! Furthermore, Cherry stated that the Penguins have six players from Ontario, that the Blackhawks had seven when they won the Cup, that the Bruins had seven last year and nine this year, and that the Blues currently have nine players from Ontario. I did a little research on my own and found that the Leafs have more American players than any other Canadian team. It is good to have people from different countries on a team but every team (American or Canadian) should have a respectable number of players who represent the country in which they are located. The fans like to be able to cheer for a home-province, home-state, or home-town guy. Look at the Minnesota Wild, they obtained Tom Gilbert from the Oilers prior to the trade deadline and Gilbert grew up about 20 minutes from the Xcel Energy Center where the Wild play. Boston acquired Matt Mottau from the Islanders and he was born and raised in Quincy, just outside of Boston. I could state many other examples but the point is that Burke should have significantly more Canadian players on his team, and, defnitely some from Ontario. The fans are funding the team! 

In support of Burke’s purposeful acquiring of American players, on the Maple Leafs NHL.com website it says, 

“Burke is on the U.S. National Team Advisory Committee that is charged with leading the selection of players for the U.S. Men’s National Team that competed at the 2011 World Championships in Slovakia. As well, Burke was the General Manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, which won a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In 1993, 2009 and 2010, Burke was the General Manager of the U.S. World Championships teams. On August 7, 2008, Burke was recognized for his outstanding service to hockey in the United States when he was named the recipient of the 2008 Lester Patrick Award.”

Sounds like a guy who really wants to do the best for his country, and that includes stocking the Leafs with American players. When Burke is eventually fired from his position he will likely go back to the US and boast about how many American players he had playing for him right in Ontario.

I definitely don’t have anything against American players but every GM of Canadian teams should make sure that they have more Canadians than any other group of players, and every GM of American teams should make a point of having a good number of Americans on their teams. The fans want this and they are funding the sport.

TJ Stanley