Cherry calls Bozak a ‘plugger,’ says Leafs overpaid


Apparently Don Cherry doesn’t think much of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ decision to give Tyler Bozak a five-year, $21 million contract extension.

“I can’t believe they re-signed him for that,” the outspoken Hockey Night in Canada announcer told the Grande Prairie Daily Herald.

I mean, there’s a classic case of overpaying a guy. Ridiculous. He’s a plugger, he’s playing with (Phil) Kessel and he can’t get 20 goals. You could get 20 goals playing with Kessel (laugh).”

Bozak, a 27-year-old center, had 28 points in 46 games last season.

So far as Cherry’s comments are concerned, there will be no shortage of observers who agree with them. In fact, many think the Leafs should’ve kept center Mikhail Grabovski, who the team bought out, and let Bozak walk away.

On the other hand, Bozak’s $4.2 million cap hit is actually lower than what many thought he could get in free agency. So in that way, it was a win for general manager Dave Nonis.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: