Don Cherry goes off on Leafs' GM Burke
Don Cherry didn't let Saturday's big news from the National Hockey League pass by without offering his viewpoint.
The Coach's Corner commentator did not keep quiet on Hockey Night in Canada about the Toronto Maple Leafs' firing of head coach Ron Wilson and voiced his displeasure with the team’s president and general manager Brian Burke.
Cherry, who recently joined the social media site Twitter, took to his Coach's Corner segment during the game between the Leafs and Montreal Canadiens to rip into Burke for what he sees as the GM's shortcomings.
"I had my say about him [Wilson] three and a half years ago, the blood is in the water," Cherry said. "The funny thing though and here is what kills me, [Brian] Burke goes to my bosses and says I am a bad guy because I said something vicious about his coach; two weeks later he fires him, figure that one out folks!"
One of Cherry's biggest criticisms of the Leafs organization is that the team does not have players from Ontario and management doesn't seem interested in acquiring any. On HNIC's Inside Hockey segment Saturday, Coach's Corner co-host Ron MacLean did challenge Burke on this fact.
Cherry added his belief that there are more hockey players to come from Ontario than any other place in the world, yet Toronto isn’t open to these athletes, instead more willing to bring in talent from south of the border.
"Every team in the National Hockey League has a guy from Ontario except one, guess who it is? It’s Ontario's Toronto Maple Leafs," Cherry said. "Now if you want American college guys; if you want Americans you got the team … He has American college guys that play for him right now and that's the way I feel and I could go on and on about the whole deal."
Cherry believes Burke is responsible for the situation and is surprised the Providence, R.I., native hasn't decided to bring players from Ontario after failing to make the playoffs in the past three seasons.
"We pay his salary from Ontario, we are the fans out there from Ontario," he said. "Not make the playoffs for three years in a row, probably not four and not have one guy from Ontario, that's a crime as far as I am concerned. …
"I see these kids busting their tails and then they're going to think they won't make Toronto. They would love to make Toronto and that's all I got to say about that."
Cherry responded to MacLean's wide-ranging interview with Burke prior to the Maple Leafs-Canadiens game in Montreal.
"I say what I think, I’m not pussyfooting around like some guys, do you know what I mean? I don't go on and ask them soft questions, I say it like it is."
A livid Cherry affirmed he is not going anywhere despite Burke’s attempts to have him fired by contacting his bosses and the government.
"I don’t care; you want to take me on? Two years ago you said you were going to do something to me in the playoffs. Remember that? And I said, 'Oh Brian Burke I’m shaking in my boots, I’m shaking right now, do your best.'"