It’d been a while (like, a couple hours?) since Don Cherry accused the Toronto Maple Leafs organization of being college hockey homers, but alas, here we are again.
During tonight’s Coach’s Corner segment, Cherry railed against the Leafs for not calling up Marlies leading scorer Connor Brown, while signing Casey Bailey and fast tracking that filthy American to the National Hockey League.
“Now, I want to say something about the Leafs,” Cherry began. At this point, I should have just turned the television off, or thrown it out the window, but instead I decided I’d transcribe what followed.
More past the jump…
“We have something that really upsets me. First of all, we have Connor Brown down with the Marlies… he’s leading the team in points, he’s plus-20, he never gets a shot. And don’t gimme that stuff that you’re leaving him down here to make the playoffs.
And what do they do? They bring in a college guy, they give him, that he’s gotta play his way off, this guy never paid his dues, he’s paying his dues down there, doing everything he can, and he never gets a shot. This whole organization loves college guys.”
If that last stanza there sounds like a whole bunch of nonsense, well, it was. Apparently Cherry was so disillusioned by Casey Bailey playing in NHL that he forgot how to form a cohesive sentence.
Let’s just get this settled right away: Plus-Minus is an awful statistic.
Also, Connor Brown shouldn’t be in the NHL.
While he’s certainly been lighting it up this season with 51 points in 65 games, this is Brown’s first season playing pro hockey. The Marlies are still playing meaningful and competitive hockey, while the Leafs are practically playing shinny and waiting for the season to run out. Bringing Brown up would be counter-productive; it wouldn’t help the Leafs organization or him as an individual.
As for Bailey, let’s not forget that he’s not only a couple years older than Brown, but also 6’3 and 194lbs. He’s a big boy by even NHL standards, whereas Brown would’ve likely blown away and disappeared into the night sky had he been anywhere near Cherry while he blew this much hot air.
And let’s not forget, when the Leafs plucked Bailey out of Penn State, which was a no-brainer good move, the NHL was literally the only place he could play. AND HE’S NOT EVEN IN THE LINEUP TONIGHT.
But that didn’t stop Cherry form continuing…
“[The Leafs’s] three college guys, the first line, if you can call it that, are minus-over-a-hundred.”
ZING! I’ll allow it.
“They’ve got to get back to getting some guys like L.A., get some Canadian spirit there, I could go on and on but I don’t have the time.”
Thank God. Oh, he isn’t done?
“Now I hear in the paper they’re looking at two guys in Duluth, and the guy who comes here is from Alaska!”
Haha, wow, ok let’s break this one down. Cherry is likely referring to Lance Hornby’s article in the Toronto Sun yesterday that profiled Dominic Toninato and Tony Cameranesi of the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. The way Cherry made it sound, the Leafs were scouting two more college free agents, which isn’t the case at all. Toronto drafted Cameranesi in 2011 and Toninato in 2012.
It’s frustrating to watch a man, beloved by so many (and for good reason), spout off almost-irresponsibly silly things on national television week in and week out. Though, I really can’t get too upset. It would be way worse if I wasn’t the only person left in the country still watching Leafs games this season.