According to a report from BSN Denver reporter and Colorado Avalanche insider Adrian Dater, Avs top prospect and 2017 NHL Entry Draft fourth overall selection Cale Makar will return to the NCAA’s UMass-Amherst for another season in 2018-19.
Wow… talk about a surprising move. The 19 year old defenseman had a productive freshman season at UMass, scoring five goals and 21 points in 34 games. The kid has poise beyond his years and looks ready to be a contributor at the NHL level, but clearly Makar is an individual who marches to the beat of his own drum. Remember, this is the kid who turned down Team Canada’s offer to represent his country at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang because he was afraid it would interfere with his college season. He also spent an extra season in Alberta’s Junior A league the AJHL just so he could play another year with his high school teammates. If nothing else, Makar has proven time and time again that he’s a team-first kind of guy. Maybe today’s report from Dater shouldn’t come as a surprise then…
Then again… with only Tyson Barrie and Samuel Girard playing regular minutes on the Avs’ power play unit, Makar seems like he’d natural fit to join the team for next season. In any case, look for the youngster to have an even bigger impact with UMass next season and sign his entry level deal the following offseason.
In case you missed it, legendary broadcaster Don Cherry was in fine form last night on his Coach’s Corner segment during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
After first discussing the surging Boston Bruins and the Hart Trophy candidate worthy play of Brad Marchand and then praising Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos for his toughness and leadership abilities, Cherry absolutely RIPPED the OHL’s Sault St. Marie Greyhounds for being what Grapes describes as “a bunch of hot dogs.” This is in reference to the actions of some of team’s players in their huge 8-0 opening round playoff series win over the Saginaw Spirit.
In case you missed it, Greyhounds forwards Keeghan Howdeshell and Barrett Hayden scored two incredible goals last week, making highlight reels around the hockey world.
Check it out:
Incredible goals, no doubt. So, what's Grapes' problem? Well, if you've ever listened to the man for any length of time, you know just how important sportsmanship is to him. What's missing in the clip above is the game situation, which plays a big factor in Grapes' take.
Now for Grapes’ take:
“The Soo this year, I watched them as much as I could and I thought they were won of the best teams”, said Cherry. “I said they could move to the American League or the National League and play… little did I know that they were a bunch of hot dogs.”
How big of hot dogs were they, Grapes?
“There’s not enough mustard in the world to cover these guys!”
That’s a pretty big hot dog! In all seriousness, we loving seeing Grapes fired up like this. Love him or hate him, I dare you to turn off the television when Grapes is calling people out. It’s pure entertainment and it’s the reason why we’ll always love Mr. Donald S. Cherry.
While he may have been wrong in calling out the two players, both Canadians, for being "Russians or something like that", we agree that the karma and the Hockey Gods always get you in the end.
For the full Coach’s Corner segment, see below (skip forward to 6:30 for the portion on the Greyhounds):
We’re with you Grapes, let ‘em have it. Let the Hockey Gods forever be on your side!
Source: Adrian Dater
Photo Credit: Zuma Press