Burke Sours On Grapes: The Brian Burke – Don Cherry Feud Heating Up!
Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager filed a formal complaint to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation regarding their employee, Don Cherry. Cherry, who co-hosts the very popular 1st intermission segment Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night In Canada, upset Burke with his comments criticizing the Leafs. Burke claimed the comments were vicious and needed to stop.
What’s wrong Burke? Are you like Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men and “Can’t Handle the Truth?” Now I’m a diehard Leafs fan, but I’m also a realistically loyal Leafs fan. The Leafs have not made the playoffs since 2004 (And I know one year has to be subtracted due to the 2005 NHL lockout that forced the cancellation of the season). The team has slightly improved since Burke’s arrival to Toronto a little over three years ago. But even though the Leafs have completely overhauled their roster during that time, they currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference at 25-19-6 with 56 points and are still fighting for their playoff lives (They would have a .500 record if it weren’t for the stupid overtime/shootout loss column – but that is a debate for another day). Plus they keep blowing games, like Tuesday night’s 3-goal lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins with 12 minutes remaining in the third. The Penguins won in a shootout 5-4. And Burke thinks I’m supposed to be happy with this so-called “improvement”? I will tell you, I’m not. Excellent teams like the Detroit Red Wings don’t worry about making the playoffs. They just do it! Mediocre teams like the Leafs are continually fighting for their playoff lives and hope they can survive to make it in.
Burke obviously has a short-term memory and doesn’t know his Leafs history like I do. But back in 1993, 94 and 1999-2003 when the Leafs not only made the playoffs, but were Stanley Cup contenders, Don Cherry, whose nickname is Grapes (maybe “Gripes” is more fitting?), publicly supported the team on national television. Just ask Ottawa Senators fans who criticized Cherry during the 2004 playoffs for showing favouritism to the Leafs on Hockey Night In Canada Broadcasts, which are supposed to be impartial. The Leafs are the loyal Cherry’s second favourite NHL team, behind the team that drafted him, allowed him to play one game, and gave him the opportunity to coach in the NHL, the Boston Bruins. This is a guy that praised the excellent playoff performances and efforts of former Leafs, Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Gary Roberts and even Swedish-born Mats Sundin. Cherry has been known to favour Canadian NHL players, but occasionally makes exceptions for excellent players born outside of Canada.
Want to get Cherry to praise the Leafs Burke? Here is what you have to do; Shut your trap and win (the trap on your face, not the ice). Have the Leafs do their talking on the ice, and quit doing all the talking for the players. Then you will get Cherry, along with myself and many other Leaf fans, praising your team instead of rightfully criticizing them.
What do you think?
…and that is the last word.