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Evening Line

It’s past time the league stopped taking Canadians for granted like the dull, but reliable boy who moons over the pretty girl and can always be counted on to be there when her flirtations with more dashing suitors fall through.

If Canadian fans want to watch Don Cherry talk about our national passion, what right has the NHL to stop us?

-Lorne Gunter of the Toronto Sun where you can read more on this topic.

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

Comments

Hootinani's avatar

Cherry is the personification of our love for the game.

Yep, he’s just like every other random Canadian commenting on hockey: loud, ignorant and overtly biased.  McKenzie is by far more knowledgeable about the game and the goings-on around it, but will never get the credit Cherry does because he’s not a brash clown.

Cherry is much more interested in dropping bombs and seeing peoples reactions to them then providing viewers with valuable hockey knowledge and insight.

Posted by Hootinani on 06/05/12 at 09:20 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Actually, he makes insightful comments on the game being played almost every show.  Im a huge McKenzie fan, but his insight into the game is only in the form of insider knowledge and rumours, not how the game itself is played.  Its called Coaches Corner for a reason, because he analyzes the game at hand as a coach would.  If youre only noticing his bluster and comments intended to stir things up, then youre probably not really paying attention.  Those of us Canadians who grew up watching him on CC for all of CBC’s big game broadcasts know what he really brings to the table, which is why he’s so beloved here.  The majority of people complaining about him are American, and probably just dont get it.  And Im a Wings fan, so I love USA hockey and hockey fans, but Don is a 100% Canadian product and this article is SPOT on.  The NHL needs to quit pandering to the south and start catering to its bread and butter and heart and soul - Canadian hockey fans.

Posted by BrendonR on 06/05/12 at 09:45 PM ET

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Seems to me Canada has every right to watch Don Cherry, just as the league has every right to dictate who has broadcast rights. Where folks get confused is to say that Don Cherry has the right to work NHL broadcasts, and that isn’t up to CBC, but the NHL.

Posted by timbits on 06/05/12 at 10:23 PM ET

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Where folks get confused is to say that Don Cherry has the right to work NHL broadcasts, and that isn’t up to CBC, but the NHL.

I think you’re the one who’s confused.  Seems like the NHL wants to be able to choose who has the right to work NHL broadcasts as a part of the next contract.

And according to Simmons, there are already hints from the league office that if the CBC wants to renew its deal, it will have to push Cherry out.

If it were up to the league and they really wanted Cherry out they wouldn’t have to wait until the contract expires to can him.

Posted by Garth on 06/05/12 at 11:31 PM ET

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I think you’re the one who’s confused.  Seems like the NHL wants to be able to choose who has the right to work NHL broadcasts as a part of the next contract.

No shit sherlock!

Posted by timbits on 06/05/12 at 11:57 PM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

If Cherry is forced out at CBC and there’s still strong demand for his commentary, he’ll just land somewhere else, be it TSN, the Score, a radio station, podcast, blog/vlog, Twitter, YouTube or whatever.

The fact that you no longer need the backing of a major network to reach a large audience is perhaps one of the few good things about the media overload we face on a daily basis. And, if Cherry does resurface and succeed, Bettman and the NHL will end up looking stupid…as usual.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 06/06/12 at 01:17 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s past time the league stopped taking Canadians for granted like the dull, but reliable boy who moons over the pretty girl and can always be counted on to be there when her flirtations with more dashing suitors fall through.

The NHL needs to quit pandering to the south and start catering to its bread and butter and heart and soul - Canadian hockey fans.

Why?

Canadians have shown that they will take it over and over again; that they’ll always come crawling back for more.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/06/12 at 02:07 AM ET

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No shit sherlock!

Really, because what I wrote is actually the opposite of what you claimed.

Posted by Garth on 06/06/12 at 07:44 AM ET

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Canadians have shown that they will take it over and over again; that they’ll always come crawling back for more.

You’re right.  The league knows that Canadians will keep coming back because they love hockey and it’s too bad that the league is more interested in catering to people who, as a whole, have shown that they largely don’t give a good god damn about hockey.

Honestly though, there are a still a LOT of Canadians who love Cherry and I’m sure there would be a pretty big upoar if the NHL were to try and force Cherry out.  It might be the first NHL-mandated change that actually does result in a lot of Canadian fans coming crawling back for more.

Posted by Garth on 06/06/12 at 07:49 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

In all honesty, one man’s catering to a group that largely doesn’t give a good god damn about hockey is just another’s trying to grow the brand.

We’ve talked about the NHL trying harder to earn more southern fans than keep Canadian fans, but are Canadian’s wants really being ignored here? Canada just got another team moved their way. I don’t really think it’s fair to categorize what they’re doing as taking the Canadian hockey fan for granted. Canadians have much more and better access to the NHL than anywhere in America. The NHL doesn’t really need to massage the advertising up north because it’s so embedded into their culture that it’s self-sustaining.

Even with the Cherry situation, it’s not people in LA or the worry about how Cherry may make Texans uncomfortable enough to stay away from hockey. A large portion of the push to remove Cherry is coming from inside Toronto, the center of the hockey universe.  They’re not talking about pushing Cherry out because he’s too Canadian and that means southern Americans won’t relate to him; they’re talking about wanting him out because he pisses them off.

I guarantee you that every single argument from a source powerful enough for the NHL to actually listen to which comes out about Cherry being an embarrassment or “not being a good ambassador for the sport” is a bullshit smokeshow come up as a better argument for “He’s always critical of the Leafs and we’re tired of it.”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/06/12 at 09:06 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I think there are plenty of good Canadian-based announcers and analysts.  Unfortunately, CBC does not seem to employ any of them at all.  It’s like they took a poll of the worst crews they could put together, then went out and actually signed them all.

CBC could fix it.  They could tell a few of those guys to tone it down or else… and I bet they would (Cherry included, because he’s not as tough as he talks).  They don’t want to though.  To be honest, it’s the only thing keeping people talking about CBC.

I wish the NHL would take a more-active interest in US broadcasts then though too.  I wish they’d tell NBC “Get Olczyk, Milbury, and Roenick off the air.  Now.”.  I also wish they’d find a role for McGuire where he isn’t such a loudmouth and can have a bit more… separation, let’s say.

Posted by Primis on 06/06/12 at 09:21 AM ET

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A large portion of the push to remove Cherry is coming from inside Toronto, the center of the hockey universe.

I would argue that it’s probably coming specifically from MLSE rather than “Toronto” as an entity.  Most Leafs fans I know are (for better or worse) fans of Cherry and love the fact that he has stopped kissing Maple Leaf ass so much (even if the reason behing it is largely Cherry’s xenophobia).  The most vocal complainer has been Brian Burke, who has supposedly cried behind closed doors to everyone who will listen to him.

Posted by Garth on 06/06/12 at 09:39 AM ET

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In all honesty, one man’s catering to a group that largely doesn’t give a good god damn about hockey is just another’s trying to grow the brand.

True, but you can only go so far in alienating a big fanbase while tilting against the windmill that is American mainstream popularity.  At some point Bettman runs the risk of having the same niche market in the US with a dwindling market in Canada that isn’t as strong a backbone for the league as he thought it was.

Posted by Garth on 06/06/12 at 09:45 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I would argue that it’s probably coming specifically from MLSE rather than “Toronto” as an entity.

Oh yeah, I’d agree with that. I don’t think the citizenry of Toronto is bothered by Cherry, just the people whose jobs he makes harder by criticizing them.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/06/12 at 10:08 AM 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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