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Tag:Don Cherry
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:42 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 4:07 pm

Grimson, Nilan respond to Cherry's criticism

By Brian Stubits

Oh, that Don Cherry. It took him all but 20 minutes into the hockey season to get people all riled up. That's not a reference to his Christmas-party Red Green plaid outfit last night.

While sporting the hideous color combination, Grapes went on a rant during Hockey Night in Canada's Coach's Corner segment about the new hitting rules in hockey and took some shots at former fighters like Chris Nilan and Stu Grimson, who he called "turncoats and hypocrites" and "pukes." You can read the whole thing (and see Cherry's outfit) here.

Well neither Grimson nor Nilan were very appreciative. Both took to their defenses, principally stating they never advocated the removal of fighting. First, here was Grimson, who seemingly created a Twitter account just to post this, his first tweet:

Maybe Don forgot ol' Stu is a laywer these days.

Nilan also took to defending himself while also reitterating he has no desire to see fighting removed from the game. In an interview with Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto, Nilan got a bit off his chest in regards to Cherry and fighting.

I was very angry considering I never had any problem with Don Cherry. ... I've always been friends with Don Cherry.

If I have an opinion on something and he doesn't agree with it, to call me a hypocrite and a puke, that's totally uncalled for. I could see if he had an opinion about me and I said the things he insinuated I said ... now at no time have I ever said alcohol and drug addiction is linked to fighting. You won't see it in print. You won't see it on any radio interview I've ever done. You won't see it on any TV interview I've ever done.

As far as a puke for saying I didn't want fighting in the National Hockey League, I never said that. I'll clarify my statemes I made about fighting once again. I believe, they are in a temperance movement. They really don't like fighting and I believe they don't want it in the game. I've said if they don't want it in the game, why don't they just take it out? I never said I wanted it out, I never said I'm against fighting. I said if they're that much against it, if they put the instigator rule, if they put linesmen who get in and try and break up before they start. The linesmen do that because they feel like getting punched in the head today? Or do they do it because the league asked them to because they don't want to see it on TV?

Now if the league does take it out and they realize it effects their bottom line, which is dollars and cents, then how, in God's name, do they put it back in? I never said I don't want fighting in the game. I've always said there is nothing wrong with two guys dropping their gloves and going at it.

Now, do I believe there is something wrong when a guy calls the guy a week before a game and says 'Hey, we're gonna go next Tuesday night?' I think that's total bull[bleep] and it's foolishness. Do I believe a spontaneous fight that happens after an incident in a game where, either one of your players is attacked by someone, or given a cheap shot by someone, or you yourself receive a cheap shot, or someone calls you out for a fight? Do I think there's anything wrong with that? I don't think there's anything wrong with that whatsoever. It's within the rules of the game. I don't think they should take fighting out and I never said it. So what he said about me last night caught me totally of guard and honestly I feel he owes me an apology next on Hockey Night in Canada in Coach's Corner.

Then he was asked by the hosts if he regrets his career as a fighter and enforcer.

Never. Never. I suffer from the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. I never once blamed it on my hockey career. Yes, I had injuries where I ended up having surgeries after my career, more than a few. I did take pain medication that helped get through the pain that I still suffer from on a daily basis. I don't whine about and so, 'Oh, it's because of hockey.' No, I got addicted innocently enough, I took pain killers and I had a problem. I've taken care of it. The National Hockey League helped me and backed me. I take care of that problem every day, on a daily basis. I have never, ever made any statements he alludes to.

This is something hockey fans just can't agree on right now. According to a poll we had on the site over the summer, an overwhelming majority want fighting to stay, and right now it's not endangered. But some are supportive of Cherry's point of view on hitting, others think he's dead wrong. While it gets frustrating, I think this is a great discussion to be having. As long as the dialogue continues, hopefully the desired end can be reached: a game still with hitting and fighting but sans head-shots. Most agree on the destination, but few can agree on which roads to take.

I don't begrudge Cherry's right to share his point of view whatsoever. Hey, CBC gives the man airtime to do just that. He just might want to think a little bit longer before next week's edition of Coach's Corner.

While he's at it, he should rethink that outfit. I don't mind many of his crazy color schemes, but that was just rough on the eyes.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:05 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 11:11 pm

Don Cherry sounds off on hits, ex-fighters

DC1By: Adam Gretz

You can probably count Don Cherry as one person that is not a fan of the way Brendan Shanahan is running the NHL's discipline machine.

During his first Coach's Corner of the season on Thursday, Cherry, wearing what appeared to be his best Christmas-themed suit (pictured), sounded off on a number of topics, including the early suspensions handed out during Shanahan's watch, the people that tried to connect the deaths of Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien to fighting, and ex-fighters that have blamed post-retirement off-ice problems on fighting.

When asked by his longtime on-air partner, Ron MacLean, if he liked Shanahan's approach to discipline (such as the videos explaining each suspension) Cherry quickly pointed out that he hasn't seen any and doesn't want to, which is kind of like complaining about a book and then refusing to read it.

One of the first points he made was a reference to last year's incident that involved Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara hitting Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty into the turnbuckle along the bench area in Montreal. Cherry went back and looked at the previous game between the two teams and showed how, after scoring a goal, Pacioretty gave Chara a shove and warned young hockey players to "never push the defenseman" after scoring a goal because "they always remember."

The next game, of course, involved Pacioretty leaving on a stretcher. When MacLean asked if Cherry felt that incident was premeditated, he simply responded with, "All I'm saying is he ticked him off and he got it the next game. Leave the defenseman alone after a goal because they always feel it's their fault."

From there, the segment focused on the bad precedent Shanahan is setting by giving players an excuse to not hit their opponents.

He then ran a highlight package of former New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens crushing people throughout his career -- including his now famous hits on Eric Lindros and Paul Kariya -- and asked how many games Shanahan would have suspended Stevens for those plays.

The answer, of course, is probably quite a few games because many of the hits he featured are now illegal. Rules change. The game changes. Things that were legal 10 years ago no longer are.

He saved his strongest words for the end of the segment when discussing fighting, calling out the people that used the deaths of Boogard, Belak and Rypien as an excuse to push their anti-fighting agenda, and that they all "should be ashamed" of themselves. He closed by calling out former fighters Stu Grimson, Jim Thompson and Chris Nilan as being "turncoats and hypocrites" for suggesting fighters can be more prone to drug and alchohol abuse.

Said Cherry, "You guys, you were fighters, and now you don't want guys to make the same living you did."

You can see the entire seven-minute segment over at CBC.

Photo: CBC

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: April 7, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: April 7, 2011 1:25 pm

Bombastic Don Cherry again not on U.S. TV

Unless you’re one of the few who watches NHL Network on Saturday nights or pulls in a CBC signal by other means, you don’t get to see much of Hockey Night in Canada. That also means no Don Cherry, the personality known for his Canadian patriotism and loud sport coats. 

He’s been seen here and there on NBC over the years and he goes on the Jim Rome Show -- Smack-off is Friday by the way, clones -- on occasion. His sporadic showing stateside could have a little something to do with what he told a Pittsburgh TV station years ago when they put up an image of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr on the screen.

“There's Mario and his sister," the NHL coach turned analyst blurted out. 

Versus spokesman Meier Raivich said in an e-mail that there are no plans to use Cherry, either on Versus or corporate cousin, NBC .

For all the bravado and sniping by his critics, Postmedia Network columnist Alex Strachan writes that the man affectionately known as Grapes can impart some solid knowledge:   
Common sense is easily lost in the translation, whenever Cherry starts sounding off on such no-brainers as the need for no-touch icing; the real reason behind the game’s recent spate of concussions (players’ growing lack of respect for other players); the wonky safety glass in some hockey arenas (‘I tell you, one day, somebody’s gonna get killed”); stanchions that jut out onto the playing surface in some arenas (“I’m startin’ to sound like a broken record here, but somebody’s gonna get killed one of these days”); over-priced hockey equipment for middle-class families struggling to get by (“Now, you kids out there, you don’t really need that $3,000 pair of skates, just because your friend has them; give your mom and dad a break, OK?”); how only weenies, pinkos and the International Skating Federation call it “ice hockey”: and, perhaps, his most criminal offence of all, taking the time at the end of each Coach’s Corner to remember — and mention by name — those who’ve fallen in the service of their country in unknown, faraway fields.

Is hockey is better with Grapes in it? 

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images
Category: NHL
Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:32 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 3:41 pm

Should the NHL finally make visors mandatory?

Manny Malhotra may not have had to travel across the continent to see a surgeon in New York had the Vancouver Canucks center used one piece of equipment. 

A visor. 

The thin piece of shatterproof plastic likely would have absorbed the errant puck that struck his left eye in a game two weeks ago. The injury ended his season and could very well endanger his career --- not to mention his enjoyment of life after hockey. 

Unlike helmets that became mandatory more than 30 years ago, visors are an option in the NHL. It doesn’t help when wearing a visor is seen as a less macho in a sport that’s all about toughness. That stigma has waned in recent years, but there may be a good portion who still thinks like CBC commentator Don Cherry. He infamously said during a broadcast seven years ago that “most of the guys that wear them are Europeans or French guys."

Fortunately, a survey conducted last season by The Hockey News shows the younger players get it. The review found 65% of players 30 and younger wear a visor. It also showed that only 45% of players 30 and older do. 

“It’s tough to see the injuries like the one to Manny Malhotra,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson, one of the last players to play minus a helmet, told in a Q&A. ”We recommend and encourage our players to wear shields. I wish they all would. All parties involved should be looking out for the players’ best interests.”  

Visors are already mandatory in the American Hockey League and in international play. Is it time the NHL follows suit? Or will this be another missed opportunity -- like when Bryan Berard had his career altered by a stick to the eye in 2000 -- to keep another player from suffering the same scary operation similar to the one Mahlotra underwent today?

-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Getty Images
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or