Don Cherry credits Canada for international juniors' success
Coach's Corner star says players benefit from playing in CHL
Don Cherry believes international players at this year's world junior hockey championship owe a debt of gratitude to Canadians for their development.
The Coach's Corner commentator used Twitter on Friday to argue that many of the biggest stars at this year's event have either played in the Canadian Hockey League or have been influenced by Canadians.
"Check out the stars on the foreign teams, where the majority of them played and where they got their development and what coaches are coaching them in their development? You'll find that it was Canadians in junior hockey," he said through his Twitter account.
Cherry also said that the CHL should change its name if it's going to continue to allow roster spots for non-Canadian players.
"I still say the Canadian Hockey League should be for Canadians, either that or change the name.Some Canadian guy spends thousands on sticks, travel, equipment, pays his taxes and his kid is cut from the CHL for some kid who's father never contributed a cent to Canada.
"Lots of people agree with me but when asked say the safe thing. I don't blame them. As my mother used to say, 'If you don't like my gate, don't swing on it.'"
In his first few seasons as owner of the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga (now Niagara) IceDogs more than a decade ago, Cherry made a point of not participating in the CHL import draft and played only North American-born players.
Still a little upset by Canada's semifinal loss to the United States on Thursday, Cherry looks at the Canadian roster and sees a bright future.
"I know we lost. I am not a gracious guy," he said via Twitter. "Let's see how many guys from the tournament make the NHL. You'll find Canada will be No. 1."