Burke: Stop the 'vicious' Cherry bombs

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. (ALEX UROSEVIC/QMI Agency file photo)

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. (ALEX UROSEVIC/QMI Agency file photo)

JOE WARMINGTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:42 PM ET

TORONTO - Maple Leafs president Brian Burke has admitted he did complain to the CBC about a Coach’s Corner segment in a bid to get them to “stop” the “vicious” criticism of his players and coach.

But, he said, it was not a personal complaint against Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, but was in the interest of protecting his team.

“I don’t dislike either of them,” Burke told QMI Agency Monday.

During the all-star weekend in Ottawa, Burke wouldn’t discuss whether he filed a complaint, saying the mid-season event was “hardly the time or place for a beef like this.”

Burke said he feels his confidence was somewhat betrayed.

“This is nuts,” said Burke, adding he “raised (the) issue quietly and professionally” and then “they leak it. Nuts.”

Burke said he bleeds with his players and coaches and doesn’t want them so harshly lashed on Hockey Night in Canada.

“I like both guys,” he explained of the legendary CBC broadcast duo MacLean and Cherry.

“But this has got to stop,” Burke insisted, referring to what he calls weekly attacks on the Leafs.

Sources say that what really raised the ire of the Leafs boss was Cherry’s comment about how coach Ron Wilson showed he “couldn’t care less” about the Canadian troops because he was not clapping when they were introduced in a game earlier this month on military night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Burke said while “they leave me alone,” he believes MacLean and Cherry dish out “vicious and cutting (remarks) on players and coach.”

Burke is said to be miffed about Cherry calling Wilson a “bully” and referring to him as Napoleon.

Cherry said last week that if it’s true Burke filed a complaint, “He’s got to get in line to get me because there are lots of people who seem to want to.”

Grapes did not return calls Monday, but he told QMI Agency at the all-star game that he likes Burke.

“Brian Burke doesn’t like me” even though “we used to be the best of friends,” Cherry said.

When asked about Wilson, Cherry admitted, “I don’t like him ... I don’t like the way he treats the players.”

Burke said he doesn’t like the way Cherry treats either of them.


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