When does an NHL player really know he’s arrived as a star in Toronto? Having his own waitress at Real Sports? Getting name-checked in a Drake lyric? No, there’s really only one endorsement that elevates great players to Ontarian deity status: Getting a kiss from Don Cherry.
Welcome to the big time, Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Good to see Don wore his lovely lilac jacket for the occasion. Must have been like getting kissed by a handkerchief filled with blueberry yogurt.
The smooch occurred after Kadri’s hat trick helped the Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night; his second trick of the season to move him into sixth in the NHL scoring race (at a plus-20).
Like we said: Rarefied status for Kadri. Because he was given the Gilmour:
Granted, Doug Gilmour got the lips while Nazem Kadri got the cheek.
Gives you something to strive for, kid.