Don Cherry - the booming voice of Coach's Corner - took to Twitter on Saturday to voice his displeasure over a recent incident involving defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the Florida Panthers' first overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
The 18-year-old was diagnosed with a concussion after being leveled during an Under-20 exhibition game against the Czech Republic at the national junior team development camp on Aug. 5.
Here's what Grapes had to say about the incident in a series of seven tweets:
I'm upset watching Aaron Ekblad, the #1 draft pick, get nailed by a Czech player in a meaningless game and mini series for Team Canada. The hit was a Scott Stevens special. I ask you, why was Aaron even playing? You know he's a lock to make the Junior Club and has a target on his back for being selected first overall in the NHL draft. Robby Fabbri, the sensation from the Memorial Cup playoffs is on crutches. Why? It doesn't make sense. Have the guys that are on the bubble play in these games. Smarten up Team Canada. The CHL and NHL are doing you a favour. They don't have to let you have these players. What if Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid got hurt too? Again. These guys are locks to make the team. Play the exhibition games with guys you want to see. Your star players getting hurt in a meaningless game in August does not make sense. Smarten up!
We'll consider this a bonus installment of 'Hockey Night in Canada's' infamous intermission show, and quite honestly, Cherry makes a pretty decent point.
Ekblad is expected to be ready for the team's rookie camp in mid-September.