Don Cherry goes off about “lefty pinkos” at speech to Toronto city council

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If there’s one thing you can always count of out of CBC hockey man and former NHL head coach Don Cherry it’s that he’ll never pull his punches on his opinions. Whether you like them or not is another story completely, of course, and while many fans will remember him for his rants against European players and always doing his part to stick up for a “good Canadian boy” during Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night In Canada.

One side of Cherry that you may not know all that well is his politics. We don’t enjoy discussing politics here and we’ll always save that action for our friends at MSNBC. They’re a lot better at it than we are anyhow. Cherry was an invited guest to speak at Toronto city council today on behalf of Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Ford is the source of controversy in Toronto (what elected official isn’t?) and happens to fall on the right side of the political spectrum. If you think Cherry is one to mince words when it comes to politics, then you don’t know Don Cherry very well.

The Torontoist has the transcript of Cherry’s speech, of which there’s just too much stuff to make you shake your head and wonder what in the hell he’s even saying. If these first three paragraphs don’t sell you on reading the rest, well, that’s just your fault.

“Actually I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in. What’d ya expect, Ron MacLean, here? To come here?

“You know, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing, coming down with Ron—Rob—and I was gonna do this here, and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I’ve been bein’ ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a pink…a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I’d wear that for him too, today.”

So to sum things up, just from this snippet, Cherry fires off against:

  • Left-wingers (presumably not those on the ice)
  • Pinkos
  • Bicycle riders
  • Newspaper writers

Further into the speech he also declared his war on old trees. A crazy, old man on a rant? Perhaps. Puck Daddy was happy to break things down a little more simply as to what we learned from this.

As a person in the media at all times, Cherry probably knows better than to go off like this knowing full well that it’s going to cause a stir. Then again, Cherry has that role on television where he’s like your cranky grandfather. You get him going about something, all of a sudden you’re transported to another era where the language was more colorful (in this case, literally) and definitely less politically correct. It makes you blush, it makes you want to keep him quiet and depending on your political take on things it might even make you want to shout right back at him.

Are we going to get up in arms over him rambling on and on? No, it’s one man’s opinion and whether you like it or not, Cherry doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him or what he’s saying. Besides, how do you get mad at a guy that wears a flamboyant pink suit like that? It’s impossible.

Habs sign Mark Streit — is he Markov’s replacement?

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The Montreal Canadiens have signed 39-year-old defenseman Mark Streit to a one-year contract worth a reported $700,000.

This will actually be Streit’s second stint with the Habs. He started his NHL career in Montreal, all the way back in 2005.

Streit split last season between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In the playoffs, he only appeared in three games for the Penguins, all of them in the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa when Justin Schultz was hurt.

What the Streit signing means for Andrei Markov remains to be seen. Streit, like Markov, can run a power play, so it’s tempting to conclude that Streit is Markov’s replacement.

That being said, almost all of Streit’s contract could be buried in the AHL if necessary, so that conclusion may be premature. This could even be a move by GM Marc Bergevin to gain leverage and convince Markov to sign.

Markov, 38, remains an unrestricted free agent. The Canadiens want him back, but only at a certain price.

Devils give Mirco Mueller two-year extension

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The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Mirco Mueller to a two-year contract extension with a cap hit of $850,000.

Mueller, a first-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2013, has only played 54 NHL games, scoring two goals with four assists. In June, after spending most of 2016-17 in the AHL, San Jose traded the 22-year-old to the Devils.

In New Jersey, Mueller should get a good chance to crack a rebuilding roster.

“Mirco is adding another piece to what we’re trying to build here,” Devils coach John Hynes said, per NJ.com. “He’s a young player, he can play with pace. He’s a very good skater. He’s got size, which is something we need on the back end. He makes a good first pass. He allows you to get out of your own zone because he can break out, he can end plays defensively, get possession, make the pass to be able to transition yourself out of defensive situations.”

The Devils have also re-signed goalie Scott Wedgewood and forward Joseph Blandisi.

Rangers lock up Zibanejad for next five years

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The New York Rangers have locked up a key piece of their future, signing center Mika Zibanejad to a five-year deal with a cap hit of $5.35 million.

Zibanejad had an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, but that won’t be required anymore.

The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 23 assists in 56 games last season. It was his first year in New York after getting traded from Ottawa for Derick Brassard.

With Derek Stepan in Arizona now, Zibanejad is arguably the Rangers’ No. 1 center. Kevin Hayes is in that conversation as well, and perhaps Lias Andersson will be soon.

But getting Zibanejad signed long term was a top priority for GM Jeff Gorton this offseason. Hayes can become a restricted free agent next summer, but that’s a bridge to cross at a later date.

Related: Andersson to get ‘every opportunity’ to make Rangers next season

Avalanche reportedly settle with Nieto, avoiding arbitration

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Matt Nieto won’t need his arbitration hearing on Monday.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Nieto has agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Colorado Avalanche.

Nieto split last season between San Jose and Colorado, which claimed him off waivers in January.

In 43 games for the Avalanche, the 24-year-old forward scored seven goals with four assists.

Nieto was the only Colorado player on this summer’s arbitration list. However, the Avs still have a restricted free agent in Nikita Zadorov, who could be off to the KHL next season.