Don Cherry on the Leafs: “I cannot understand the general manager.”

Cherry critical of his beloved Leafs.


The Toronto Maple Leafs are off to what can only be described as a terrific start to their season with a 9 - 2 - 1 record after 11 games played. That record has come in large part thanks to the organizations top stars, with players like Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly leading the team in points on the season.

Although you would not normally find a reason to complain given the circumstances, those 5 men after all are arguably the organization's most important players and the ones you would expect to find at the top of the list, it was this level of success from these players that had legendary National Hockey League broadcaster Don Cherry scratching his head over the weekend.

It is no secret that Don Cherry has never had much love for European born players, and that manifested itself again on his most recent podcast when he questioned the recent decisions made by Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas.

"I cheer for the Leafs, I really do, but I cannot understand the general manager," said Cherry on the podcast. "Dubas, I just don't understand it."

"Every guy he's picked up on free agency, [Wayne] Simmonds[Joe] Thornton and [Jason] Spezza, they've all scored."

Here Cherry pointed to the fact that a majority of the Leafs production this season has come off the back of North American players, something that makes sense considering the team is primarily composed of such players. Off the back of this he questioned why then, after seeing the success of North American players on his team, Dubas would focus so much of his draft on European players.

"They're just flying along, they're looking great and the whole deal and he drafts nothing, NOTHING, but Europeans," said a frustrated sounding Cherry.

"What he picks out is older free agents and trades, Simmonds and guys like that and there he does a great job, and then he drafts nothing but Europeans." 

"It just doesn't make sense to me that you can see the guys that are scoring all the goals, that are doing all the work, that are doing everything.... they are all North Americans and then he drafts nothing but Europeans."

"They're carrying the club, it doesn't make any sense."

To be fair to both Cherry and Dubas it didn't sound like Cherry meant to put all of this on Dubas' shoulders, perhaps intending to suggest that this was more of an organizational issue in his mind than a Dubas problem.

"I'm not knocking him," said Cherry in the end, "It's strange."