Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
He is, objectively, great at his job. When he leaves the airwaves one day, he will be missed, if only because there is nobody who can replace his capacity for forging a connection to his audience, and provoking reactions like this one. He is must-watch TV, as far as hockey goes, a sort of water-cooler cottage industry. Sometimes he’s dead right: no-touch icing, hard plastic shoulder and elbow pads, stuff like that. Sometimes he sees things in the game that nobody else seems to notice. And often, I think, he is terribly wrong.
But whenever Don takes the stage on Saturday nights now, I wonder how it’s going to end. The hockey world is moving away from him, on every level — Hockey Canada outlawed hits to the head for kids, the NHL has made moves to curb excess physicality if not fighting, even visors are becoming more common. He is receding into history even as he commands the pulpit, and with every passing year the odds of him saying things that the CBC will have to disavow rise. Maybe one day he will go too far over the line, as elastic as it has been for him. Maybe one day the storm won’t pass.
And when that day comes it will be sad, even for those of us who disagree with him. Don Cherry loves hockey, and he illuminates Saturday nights across this country even when residing in hockey’s darker ages. He will leave a void, one day, when the lights go out.
Don Cherry apologized Saturday on his Coach’s Corner segment for comments he made recently about a group of retired NHL enforcers.
During the Oct. 6 edition of his popular intermission segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry referred to Chris Nilan, Stu Grimson and Jim Thomson as “pukes” for speaking out against fighting in hockey.
“I gotta admit I was wrong on a lot of things,” Cherry said. “Three enforcers, tough guys, my type of guys, I threw them under the bus, and I’m sorry about it. I really am.”
Cherry also apologized for suggesting that Nilan and Crimson had attributed their struggles with substance abuse to the violent nature of their former jobs, and for claiming that those players had said they wanted fighting banned from hockey.
“Chris and Stu never said that they took drugs because they were enforcers in the National Hockey League,” Cherry said. “Also, they never said they wanted fighting out of the game, that’s for sure.”
“I was wrong on that, 100 per cent wrong. And when you’re wrong, you have to admit it.”
added 10:11pm, watch tonight’s Coach’s Corner below…
from the Montreal Gazette,
Sources tell The Gazette that the Tennessee law firm Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert will release a statement early Tuesday morning from former NHL players Chris Nilan, Jim Thomson and Stu Grimson indicating the players are not satisfied with Don Cherry’s remarks Saturday night and making clear that they expect a full apology from the CBC commentator.
Update October 11, 2:43 pm ET: Statement from the lawyers:
“Mr. Cherry’s comments were more than inappropriate; they were baseless and slanderous,” the statement said. “Furthermore, Mr. Cherry’s subsequent attempt to qualify his comments on (Saturday) Oct. 8, 2011, was entirely ineffectual.
“Mr. Cherry’s conduct throughout has demonstrated a complete lack of decency.”
The notice did not specify what further action the former hockey players might take nor did it offer a timeline.
*post originally published October 10, 10:43pm ET:
**more commentary earlier today
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Boys, boys, boys. Let’s all grow up here.
Lots of name-calling going on between Don Cherry and a group of former NHL enforcers these days, but not a whole lot being said, at least not much more than the kind of insults and taunts you might hear in a schoolyard.
Now, maybe we shouldn’t expect more. But maybe we should. See, the issues of fighting, concussions and related depression are serious, serious issues, and the way in which these folks are dealing with them is simply trivializing the problem.
Now, for starters, that’s enough with the lawsuit talk. First of all, nobody should publish stories about somebody “threatening” to sue. It’s a story when the papers are filed.
Here’s a news flash for the CBC: Cherry’s sorry act no longer plays with Canadians. It’s become sickening and when the ugliness is turned on a Stu Grimson or a Chris Nilan, it’s too much.
This feels like the beginning of the end. The monster is feeding on its young. Surely, this time, enough is enough.
-Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette where you can read more on this topic that seems to have gripped the media, including print, web and TV/radio based outlets.
Ron MacLean gives Don Cherry the opportunity to discuss his recent comments about fighting in the game plus other topics are hit upon too.
Cherry then singled out three former players who made careers out of fighting on the ice for being among those trying to link the deaths with on-ice thuggery.
“The ones that I am really disgusted with ... are the bunch of pukes that fought before: Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson. (They say) ‘Oh, the reason that they’re drinking, (taking) drugs and alcoholics is because they’re fighting.’ You turncoats. You hypocrites,” Cherry said.
“If there’s one thing I’m not it’s a hypocrite. You guys were fighters, and now you don’t want guys to make the same living you did.”
Grimson, Nilan and Thomson all appeared on TSN’s “Off the Record” on Friday, and all three took exception with the allegations made by Cherry.
from Doug Harrison of CBC,
Fittingly, with baseball’s post-season underway, Don Cherry came out swinging in his first Coach’s Corner segment on Saturday night.
His target was Brendan Shanahan, the National Hockey League’s vice-president of safety and the slew of suspensions handed out during the pre-season.
Cherry’s frustration re-surfaced in the first period of
(Thursday’s) game between Montreal and Toronto when Jay Rosehill avoided a hit against a Canadiens player near the side boards. He also pointed to Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban letting up on a potential big hit against Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel.
“Rosehill has to make the club hitting. He misses him on purpose,” said Cherry. “This is what you’re going to see time after time after time and I don’t blame the players one bit.”
continued and you can watch Coach’s Corner there too.
added 11:02pm, Not the best of quality, but you can watch Coach’s Corner below.
via andrewxedge tweet,
@FriedgeHNIC I’m not a huge fan of your television work, but I really respect the fact you didn’t leave HNIC like so many others.
via Elliotte Friedman tweet,
@andrewxedge thanks, I think
Hockey Night in Canada’s 59th season on CBC begins this weekend, and it was announced on Thursday that five new members are joining the team to help bring the game to the fans from every angle.
Gord Stellick, with nearly three decades of experience in the hockey world, is the new host of Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Sirius. The show returns with a special broadcast Monday from St. John’s, the site of Kraft Hockeyville 2011.
Andi Petrillo will join returning HNIC personality P.J. Stock as co-host of Game Day, the interactive Saturday afternoon show at 5 p.m. ET that will set up the night’s slate. Game Day debuts on Oct. 8.
With the addition of a seventh Canadian franchise in Winnipeg, there will be 104 regular season clashes presented on HNIC.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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