During his first Coach’s Corner segment of the Hockey Night in Canada season, Cherry ripped the Leafs' brass for picking European and U.S. college players at the 2014 NHL draft, while the Stanley Cup champion LosAngeles Kings filled their draft with Canadian players.
“We have the Stanley Cup champions, who have won two out of three Stanley Cups, right? Their [roster is] full of Canadians, full of guys from the OHL and they win two out of three," said Cherry. "How many Canadians did the Leafs draft? Zero. No stars will every come here to Toronto. Why would you? You have to go through the draft. They have not had an impact guy since Wendel Clark [drafted first overall in 1985].
Cherry’s biggest beef was Toronto passing on PeterboroughPetes winger Nick Ritchie in the first round in favour of Swedish William Nylander at No. 8. The Ducks scooped up Ritchie two picks later.
“They passed on a guy, Nick Ritchie, who is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds [and had] 100 minutes in penalties. Oh, you’re going to say he’s a dummy. Only three guys in the whole draft scored more goals than this guy. And guess who picked him up right after that… Anaheim.”
Cherry didn't initially get a lot of backing on Twitter.