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Morning Line

via tweets from Don Cherry,

1) Leafs love those College guys. Signed Eric Knodel from University of New Hampshire. Going to get a tryout with the Marlies. That means

2) he takes a spot from some guy slugging it out on the buses. If you want to make the Leafs or get a tryout just go to a US College.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry

Comments

awould's avatar

Good advice even if you don’t want to play for the Leafs, or even if you don’t play hockey! Thanks Don Cherry!

Posted by awould on 03/26/14 at 11:07 AM ET

pautna's avatar

Old man needs to retire already and take his antiquated and insecurity based notions with him.

Posted by pautna on 03/26/14 at 01:14 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

This might be even more idiotic than his normal, run of the mill xenophobia.  Not only does he hate foreigners, he also has a grudge against kids trying to prepare for life and parlay their hockey ability into a chance at an education? 

I assume Cherry is totally fine with Jonathan Toews, though?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/26/14 at 01:26 PM ET

Avatar

Does Don have any ownership interest in a major junior team?
Also, here I thought most us college hockey teams ride buses to games. They must either levitate or teleport.

Posted by teldar on 03/26/14 at 04:42 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

He’s just trying to point out that the Leafs tend to sign US players instead of from their own system.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that but because Toronto is the centre of hockey’s universe in Canada it’s a big deal to him.

There are so many things wrong with the way the Leafs develop players but the biggest thing is they always go the fast route.  Almost their entire team has been assembled via free agency or trade.  The impact players they have drafted and developed themselves are Kadri, Reilly, and Reimer.  All of these impact players seem to be still a work in progress.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than one traded away at the draft.

There’s quite an advantage of having mainly home grown talent.  This is something the leafs have little of because they trade much of their prospects away for what they consider proven talent.

Cherry may seem like an old fool at times but he’s just stating the obvious here.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 03/26/14 at 06:07 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Cherry may seem like an old fool at times but he’s just stating the obvious here.

I do no think the language he uses fits your “he’s stating the obvious” interpretation.

That means he takes a spot from some guy slugging it out on the buses. If you want to make the Leafs or get a tryout just go to a US College.

I read that as Cherry insinuating the person’s spot he’s taking is more deserving because he slugged it out on the buses.  Seems pretty clear to me that there’s a negative inflection.  Am I wrong?

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/26/14 at 09:15 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

Am I wrong?

Not at all.  What I was getting at is the Leafs don’t develop their prospects and Cherry knows it and hates it.  Their team has been built by trades and signing players they never drafted.

Look at the Wings by comparison.  Smart developing brings more control over salaries, allows players to be moulded the way the team wants, a sense of pride and ownership for the players and it’s the right way to build a dynasty.

If you keep signing US college players, how do the drafted prospects feel?  I think they would feel abandoned and if there’s less chance of them making the NHL they may think about moving on.

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 03/26/14 at 09:31 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

He’s just trying to point out that the Leafs tend to sign US players instead of from their own system.—- - bigdee89

When the Leafs sign a US player and send them to the Marlies… they are “literally” developing these US players in their own system.

That’s the disconnect I see in trying to defend Cherry from a charge of xenophobia.

Your complaint makes excellent sense and it is a criticism of the Maple Leafs I share.

Cherry’s complaint isn’t at all like your complaint.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 03/27/14 at 12:18 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

Cherry’s complaint isn’t at all like your complaint.

Agreed, completely.  I think Bigdee89 has a good grasp on what the Leafs are doing wrong with their prospects (add in a dash of pure mis-evaluation of talent).  I just don’t think that’s Cherry’s point at all.  It isn’t readily obvious to me that Cherry realizes the Leaf’s prospects are failing because of the Leaf’s own failings.  As I read him, he’s just suggesting that the Leafs are slighting those prospects by going after these American College guys (who aren’t in all cases american players, mind you) and suggesting the prospects with precedence are somehow unfairly treated if they’re leapfrogged by a more talented collegian. 

The good guys pay their dues, the bad guys go to college first and then come in ahead of those good guys.  I think the element missing is talent.  Paid dues shouldn’t and don’t mean anything in a meritocracy.  This article does a good job pointing out that the collegiate players the Leafs have on their roster (Van Riemsdyk, Kessel, Bozak, Marlies scoring leader Spencer Abbott) are in fact some of their best players:  http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/03/26/don-cherry-tweets-that-toronto-maple-leafs-are-depriving-some-guy-slugging-it-out-on-the-buses-of-a-spot-by-signing-college-player/

Also of note:

Chris Peters @chrismpeters

Funny thing about Cherry’s Knodel swipe, he was drafted by TOR, not a UFA. He was coming sooner or later. Also, heck of a 5th-round pick now

Chris Peters @chrismpeters

More on Knodel: Was a shot-in-the-dark pick out of Philly. He was just big. Over a year in USHL, 4 at UNH, developed into a real prospect.

So, this guy is in the Sheahan/Nyquist/Smith camp of drafted by the team and going to college before being a pro.  He’s not in the DeKeyser camp of college free agent signee.

 

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/27/14 at 12:44 AM ET

shanetx's avatar

In a development that will surprise absolutely no one, this isn’t even a new gripe. It’s just repackaged and regurgitated, here’s (http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/don-cherry-goes-off-on-leafs-gm-burke-1.1222212) a previous article that touches on a similar thing, only instead of collegiate players taking hard working bus-riding boys jobs, the concern is why is Burke bringing in American collegiate players instead of Ontario natives.  Here’s quote from it for you:

“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.”

And later,

“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.”

So; losing with Toronto natives is okay.  Losing with Americans or (even worse) players from other countries is criminal.  You know who else used to have that mentality?  NBA and MLB owners who fought racial integration.  History doesn’t look very kindly on them, either.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/27/14 at 12:50 AM ET

bigdee89's avatar

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/27/14 at 12:50 AM ET

Very good points.  I remember reading about this and it’s a sad argument by Cherry for sure.

I didn’t realize Knodel was drafted by the Leafs so the whole argument by Cherry goes out the window!

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 03/27/14 at 09:52 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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