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Don Cherry, Not What He Once Was

from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,

He’s 77 now and while he still sets the agenda for our national hockey conversation, he is more of a cult figure than a trailblazer. After three decades spent listening to a remarkably consistent message, a great many people have decided that Cherry’s defence of violence isn’t just wrong-headed, but that it’s morally corrupt.

Cherry replies by adding more square-footage to his bunker. He is besieged, and for the very first time, it seems possible that he could be broken.

The not-so-secret secret to Cherry’s success as a broadcaster is his commitment to an ideal. Cherry believes in a perfect sort of hockey and, more importantly, a perfect sort of player. That player is a humble thug, a skilled brute. He does not complain or retreat. He is always the aggressor. Cherry’s perfect player is the perfected version of himself.

Other analysts and experts are professional prevaricators. They can see both sides of any issue. Cherry sees hockey two-dimensionally. That’s what makes him compelling.

He’s also intellectually honest. As much as he sets out to provoke, no one who watches him can doubt that Cherry believes completely in everything he says when he’s saying it. There is always something calculating about a provocateur. Cherry isn’t one of those. He’s a zealot.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+cherry


whateverman's avatar

Who appointed Don Cherry as all knowing, the be all end all, hockey expert?

The man is old time hockey personified and should be treated as such. His allure lies in his candor. He’s a man who lived it first hand a couple of generations ago. God forbid the man has an opinion of what the game used to be and what it should be. Now days he’s a TV personality. Coach’s corner is a tradition in Canada. One that’s crossed the border here to Detroit. Boyhood memories of his rants are blazed in my mind. He’s entertaining but hey what’ya know?... Some group of douche canoes decided to take him seriously.

Ease up on him. He’s a legend. He’s also old as shit and can’t be held responsible for every last thing he says. He’s your hockey Grandad.


Posted by whateverman on 11/07/11 at 03:11 AM ET


Don used to be funny, and poke fun at himself and others. Now he believes what he says and should be held responsible for his actions. He is a big boy, if he can’t handle the heat then it is time to move on. He is an angry old man trying to cling to a myth.

Posted by timbits on 11/07/11 at 03:14 AM ET

whateverman's avatar

Perfect example of someone taking him too seriously… Its not his fault he’s old.

Posted by whateverman on 11/07/11 at 03:17 AM ET


Too old for TV.

Posted by MarkoH on 11/07/11 at 03:58 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

For your part, you either do or do not like Cherry — there isn’t enough middle ground to plant a flagpole in.

And, I firmly stand with those that like Don Cherry. Saying he is out spoken would be an understatement. He says what he means, and, means what he says. It does not mean I agree with all of his views

He’s like your Grandpa. You get mad at him because he let’s the Grand kids play with a hammer or, with something you believe to be harmful, but, you still love him anyway.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 11/07/11 at 09:25 AM ET

Primis's avatar

It’s not that he’s not what he once was,

It’s that he was a never-was to begin with.

Posted by Primis on 11/07/11 at 10:14 AM ET


Some group of douche canoes decided to take him seriously.

How about you don’t pretend that he has always taken himself 100% seriously and that he has always been taken seriously, that there aren’t people who treat him like he speaks the word of God.

And maybe don’t pretend that he wasn’t voted as one of the greatest Canadians.

Some douche canoes?  How about EVERYONE at one point?

Posted by Garth on 11/07/11 at 11:24 AM ET


This article’s author appears to have some personality defects.


Is he not the same guy who suggests Crosby retire??

Posted by Cubanpuckstopper on 11/07/11 at 01:27 PM ET

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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.

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