Kevin Bieksa. (Getty Images)
Don Cherry got in trouble for slagging NCAA players, but maybe 'Grapes' just forgot about all the great college players from Canada – and those Americans who play the game the way he likes it.
Don Cherry made waves yesterday when he ragged on the Toronto Maple Leafs for signing defenseman Eric Knodel out of the University of New Hampshire and assigning him to the American League's Marlies. 'Grapes' took offense to the fact Knodel didn't ride the buses of major junior and was taking a spot away from a Good Canadian Kid. Never mind that the Leafs drafted Knodel and therefore always expected him to play in the organization some day, but if Cherry had seen the mammoth, physical blueliner play, he'd probably love Knodel. In fact, I believe Cherry has just forgotten how many of his favorite players come from the NCAA. Here's a full roster, complete with scouting reports he may have written* about the squad. Let's gooooo!
*he didn't, it was me...
Jonathan Toews, North Dakota: "Johnny Toews, Canadian hero! Two Olympic gold medals, two Stanley Cups, pride of Winnipeg!"
David Backes, Minnesota State: "Boy, this guy here sure plays like a Canadian, doesn't he? You run into him on the ice…hoo boy. Had a hat trick against my Leafs the other night."
Martin St-Louis, Vermont: "Nobody believed in this guy, he's just a little feller, but he's got the big heart! Had some trouble with Stevie Y there and you know I love Stevie, but St-Louis can really pass the puck."
Patrick Sharp, Vermont: "Will you look at this guy; what a beaut, eh? Handsome feller and he can shoot the puck!"
Matt Moulson, Cornell: "Lemme tell you something. Everybody said he was only scoring because of Tavares. But this guy has scored everywhere he has gone. Good Mississauga kid, shoulda played for my IceDogs!"
Mike Cammalleri, Michigan: "What they did to him in Montreal…I don't want to get in trouble here…Good Toronto boy, he's a beaut!"
Tyler Bozak, Denver: "You kids out there…don't let anybody tell you it can't happen. Bozak was never drafted and now he's playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boy, if he had played Game 7 against Boston last year, I don't know what would have happened."
Travis Zajac, North Dakota: "Lou Lamoriello, boy he knows how to pick'em, doesn't he? Good Canadian kid, can't beat him on faceoffs!"
Matt Read, Bemidji State: "These are the guys you win with! Is it 'read' or 'red?' Anyways, never drafted, kills penalties, way to go Matt Read!"
George Parros, Princeton: "He's not playing a lot these days but you know all his teammates love him because he's the policeman on that team, does a lot of charity work, keep your head up, George!"
Craig Adams, Harvard: "He's a smart guy, eh? Went to Harvard. Anyway, you need these guys, he's got two Stanley Cups never takes a shift off he's a leader, Craig Adams!"
Kevin Westgarth, Princeton: "Big union guy, eh? Boy, I bet Gary didn't like seeing him on the other side of the table. Drops the gloves, good honest guy, way to go!"
Kevin Bieksa, Bowling Green: "Boy, he's a beauty, isn't he? You see him take the faceoff for that Lain kid when they got it going against Calgary? Likes it rough!"
Dan Boyle, Miami: "Danny Boyle, good Irish name! Shoulda been on Team Canada, never drafted, he's gonna get them that Cup in San Jose!"
Jacob Trouba, Michigan: "This kid here, he hits ya and it hurts. Playing great for Winnipeg, they got a good one there, he does everything. I think he's from Flin Flon!"
Chris Tanev, RIT: "Played for the Markham Waxers just like Stevie Stamkos and Pettererangelo, never drafted, great kid!"
Torey Krug, Michigan State: "Boy I hated playing against these little guys…you can't pin'em down and then they give you a little shot…Boston's glad they got this guy!"
Taylor Fedun, Princeton: "The most dangerous play in hockey, you kids, you don't hit the guy when he's chasing the puck like that, the NHL finally listened to me, Fedun, good Edmonton kid played his first NHL game this year, way to go Taylor!"
Brian Elliott, Wisconsin: "Brian Elliott, this guy makes the big saves, never complains, they had the Halak guy, now they bring in Miller, Brian you're a No. 1 in my book!"
Cam Talbot, Alabama-Huntsville: "Good Ontario kid, I saw him play Jr. A in Hamilton, then he went to play down south, boy they love the rough stuff down there, don't they? Anyway, he was playing better than Lundqvist, that pretty boy, Cam Talbot you're a beaut!"