BOCA RATON, Fla.--So, as it turns out, Brian Burke didn't try to get Don Cherry fired as Cherry alleged on Coach's Corner two weeks ago.
And, as it turns out, Cherry's accusation that the Leafs ignore Ontario talent is also dead wrong, given that two of the last three first round picks made under the Burke regime were from Ontario, and eight of 23 draft picks made by the Leafs over the past three years were Ontario-born kids.
So wrong and wrong for Grapes. Oops. Wonder if the CBC will be issuing a correction?
But don't think for a minute this scrap is over.
Burke may (should) have bigger fish to fry these days with his plummeting hockey club, but he believes he's speaking for all the Canadian-based NHL clubs in that he wants either the CBC to exert greater editorial control over Cherry, or he says the next national TV deal, should it involve the CBC, must include editorial input from the NHL.
This is tricky, tricky ground, especially with MLSE about to be taken over by the peculiar partnership of Rogers and Bell. Burke, as he has shown all year, isn't afraid to take on newspapers, radio outlets or national broadcasters when he feels he has been wronged.
In this case, Burke is annoyed that he has had to deal with the accusations that the Leafs are anti-Ontario when it comes to players just because of the stir created by Cherry's segment.
"I don't think you should be able to try and settle personal vendettas on the air," said Burke about Cherry's mistake-filled tirade. "But that's not just me. Its the view of the Canadian teams. Its a source of contention with Canadian teams that this can't happen again."
Burke, by the way, insists he didn't try to get Cherry canned, which has been confirmed by CBC officials.
"I don't want him fired, and I didn't do anything behind his back," said Burke.