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Report: CBC under pressure to muzzle Don Cherry

Mar 17, 2012, 9:18 PM EDT

Don Cherry

Don Cherry has said some interesting things lately. He’s clashed with Leafs GM Brian Burke, scolded the Toronto Maple Leafs for not having Ontario-born players on their active roster, and explained why he thought Saskatoon could be home to an NHL team.

Sometimes his commentary is fun, sometimes it’s bizarre, but he certainly has his supporters as well as detractors. Now, according to reports, that might all be slowly coming to an end as CBC deals with pressure to muzzle him.

Reportedly, it’s not just Burke that’s unhappy with Cherry at this point and CBC might end up overhauling their popular Coach’s Corner segment and perhaps Hockey Night in Canada in general. Such a move might be seen as a way to modernize the show and shift the focus away from Cherry, but doing so would be a significant gamble. Like Cherry or hate him, he knows how to draw a crowd and any move to marginalize and move past Cherry might hurt them in the ratings game. On the flip side, a successful transition will eventually be necessary in the long run.

  1. coldplay519 - Mar 17, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    That picture reminds me… Go to YouTube and search for “Don Cherry piano hands.” hilarious.

    • Andee - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      Had me in tears the first time I ever watched it. I couldn’t explain it, but I found it hysterical.

    • vanchuk - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:06 AM

      Oh my god that is AMAZING!!! When he slides his hand across the desk…priceless!!!

  2. scottybcboy - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    I love Grapes, he is everything that we need in hockey, an opinion. Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger and Glenn Healy are fine and all but they don’t have an opinion…they are reporters. It will be a sad day when Cherry ceases to have a platform, love him or hate him, at least you have an opinion on him.

    • pfpmb - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:02 AM

      You’re comparing apples to oranges. McKenzie, Dreger, Healy and all other NHL Insiders break stories about players, teams, etc. Cherry provides HIS opinion about today’s current hockey news, events, trends, etc. viewed through the lens of a past era. Opinions are like A-holes. Everyone has one. The CBC needs to phase Cherry out slowly but hopefully surely.

      • paperlions - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Why? I don’t get this…it is ONLY an opinion, and an opinion about a sport, which puts a pretty low cap on how important the opinion can be. If you don’t like it, ignore it, disagree with it, whatever….but it is only an opinion. It (like Cherry himself) affects nothing. That so many in positions of power for Canadian teams let him get under their skin says far more about them than it does about Cherry.

      • Buffalo Grumblings - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        “lens of a past era” Last time I looked hockey is still about skating, shooting, scoring, and solid defense. Grapes has forgotten more about hockey than you guys remember.

  3. Kristenaux - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    I don’t care for him. I think his hockey knowledge pertains to a past era and many times what he says is more embarrassing (to him) than anything. At least it would be, if his ego shrank.
    Those people that are attracted to him will quickly get over it if he’s gone.

  4. riles1008 - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    How can people like the guy? He never makes any sense. He’s like an old man with Alzheimer’s talking in circles and never staying on point. He goes off on tangents that never tie together. It’s embarrassing.

    • sabatimus - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Except his ties.

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Cherry is Cherry. He has a job for the same reason Ozzie Guilen has a job – hes controversial & controversey sells. CBC knows hes good for the ratings because love hin or hate him people want to hear his opinion

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      Ozzie Guillen had a long playing career at the highest level and has won a World Series as a manager. To suggest his continued employment is based solely on his public persona is ridiculous. If anything, his personality is what makes him a liability despite his accomplishments.

  6. sjsharksfan11 - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Good. Get rid of that idiot and his nasty looking suits. He’s a TYPICAL CANADIAN CLOWN.

    • pfpmb - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:22 AM

      Here’s an idea for sjsharksfan11, replace Cherry with Brian Burke. He’s a clueless, ignorant American who will (hopefully) soon be out of a job. He’s a little younger than Cherry but just as delusional and senile as him.

    • sabatimus - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Comment was fine until you got all bigoted.

    • Tristan - Mar 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

      @sjsharksfan11 – That comment was almost impressively idiotic. Here’s a fun activity for you: 1. Find me another Canadian who resembles Don Cherry in any way – in demeanor, dress, attitude, or expression. 2. Look up the definition of the word “typical”. 3. Take a nap.

  7. t16rich - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    CBC production blows. If you’re Canadian, and truly recognize sport in general and hockey in general, you liekly recognize how CBC has fueled a propagantic hate to anything that doesn’t resemble a style that Dave Schultz and the 70’s Flyers played. CBC wants you to believe, we (Canada), are the best. When truly, all levels of international play over the past 10 years proves we are as average as any country. We develop indivual stars at a higher rate, but international team wise, we have never proved Canada is dominant. Somehow CBC feels that way. I used to love Ron and Don, then I turned 10 and realized some people shove their own opinion too far up their own butt. Take note people, there are some nights where Ron’s eyes almost pop out of his head because he is worried what Don will say. CBC blows. TSN, Sportsnet and thank you NBC!!!!!!! NBC has been awesome this year. Yes. I would reather listen to Pierre for 3 hours then tune in for 10 minutes of Don and Ron’s dumb minds.

    • hawknuts - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:20 PM

      we never prove canada is dominant eh? we won the last 2 olympic gold medals, we compete every year for the world junior championship even though we don’t win it all the time the kids do just fine representing their country, we won the last world cup of hockey (coincidentally it used to be the CANADA CUP) and every spring a whole bunch of canadian boys help some team win the stanley cup.

      your opinion doesn’t mean anything once you state you like pierre mcguire, nbc coverage of games is ridiculously poor. bob cole and harry neal own hockey broadcasting. period.

      • t16rich - Mar 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM

        Wrong. We have won 2 of last 3 golds. We have won 2 olympic golds in the last 58 years of winter olympics. Yes 2 of last 3 is nice, but 2 in 58 years is dominant? And just like you say every summer Canadian boys help a team win a cup, the exact same could be said for Russian, American, Finnish and Swede boys. All the top nations help win Stanley Cups on a yearly basis. It’s not just Canadas “dominant players” who win cups. International team wise Canada isn’t as dominant as we think, every country shows up with a solid effort. Your opinion proves to mean as little as mine, if not less. Bob Cole is my guy though. CBC has good play by play guys.

      • pfpmb - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:14 AM

        Seriously, NBC hockey coverage is better than CBC (minus Cherry), TSN and Sportsnet? Lay off the sweet chiba dude.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:20 AM

        “2 in 58 years is dominant?”

        Probably worth noting that we were sending amateurs i.e not our very best players to play against some of the very best NHL-calibre Soviet players for most of those years.

      • hawknuts - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:05 AM

        i omitted sweeden winning the 2006 olympics accidentally, which they deserved to win because they were a great team. my mistake but i still stand by my premise.

        since allowing nhl players back into the fold in 98 at nagano, we have won 2/4 olympic golds. 50% is a better average than any other nation.

        There is a decidedly larger number of Canadians winning the cup every year. I will acknowledge other countries put players in the NHL who win the cup, it would be ignorant not too, but when it comes down to it our kids are usually the main cogs (you know the individuals) you were talking about. it takes a full team to win but don’t downplay the role of a lot of men from this country who put it out there.

        you said we don’t do anything on an international level and i stand by my point that you are wrong. we compete at every level of the game consistently. At one point in 2002 we owned every major international title, the only country to ever do that.

        your comment of comparing olympic prowess since the 50’s is just as pathetic as your love for pierre mcguire.

    • pfpmb - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:11 AM

      Why the hate on Canadians? We provide 60% of all NHL’ers.

      With the ignorant attitude exhibited by sjsharksfan11, it’s no wonder us Winnipeg Jet fans gave it to Ryan Miller with “SILVER MEDAL” chant on March 5 at the MTS Centre.

      Why don’t you go punch a female Canucks fan for celebrating a Canucks goal at the HP Pavilion. Make you feel like a real man.

      • bcisleman - Mar 19, 2012 at 2:11 AM

        More like 50%. Jets fans “give it to” the best player on every team. What you don’t realize is that it psyches them up & hurts your team. NYR fans used to do that to Denis Potvin & NYRs always hated it because he’d take it out on them physically and production-wise.

  8. blomfeld - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    “a successful transition will eventually be necessary in the long run” …

    Yes that’s true, but it still won’t make a difference. The Hockey Night in Canada gig is going to a private corporation like TSN and therefore these cowardly attempts to muzzle Cherry are going to do absolutely nothing for the CBC. If anything, they should let him run amok for the final stretch drive here and let everyone have some fun.

    LA KINGS Update: friends, we’re in action tonight against Nashville … let’s really give em the “cold steel” eh ! … we need everything from here on in !

  9. tampabayirish - Mar 17, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    I like him. I watch him every weekend on Coach’s Corner…online, if I miss it live on NHL Network. I don’t always agree with him. But I always tune in. I think he is right about no touch icing. Hybrid icing is better than the current rule, but no touch icing is the way to go. I hope the suits in the league office don’t wait until a superstar gets injured before changing the rule. And I love his pimp suits. Irish Green tonite.

    • sabatimus - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      He’s a total blowhard. I don’t even care if he gets (some) facts right, I can’t stand listening to or watching him because everything about him screams HEY LOOK AT ME!! HERE!! MEMEMEMEMEMEME!!! I don’t generally get along with total narcissists.

  10. bcisleman - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Seems like hypocrisy abounds. When Garth Snow rescinded Chris Botta’s credentials, the entire hockey media establishment circled the wagons and some even punished Michael Grabner by not supporting him for the Calder.

    Now some in the NHL want to muzzle Don Cherry and the hockey media community’s response is, “Oh well, let’s see what happens.”

    Cherry is a blowhard no doubt and he says some annoying things. But he speaks for many Canadians and is generally entertaining. Also, if you listen with an open mind, he says some valuable things. For example, the NHL seems ready to adopt the no touch icing rule. Grapes has been preaching that for years. It would be a very great shame if Grapes is muzzled. It would be a greater shame if it happens and nobody in the hockey media says anything.

  11. vipod4ever - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    CBC LOSS IS TSN GAIN…Cherry will be welcomed with open arms.

  12. speedstickmusk - Mar 17, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Never really cared for this guy. He thinks he’s bigger than the game itself and just likes to hear himself talk. He often brings nothing to the program and uses HNIC as a soapbox. They’d be better off showing relevant gameday content than give this fool his long expired 15 minutes…

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:27 AM

      HNIC is mostly “relevant gameday content.” Cherry gets maybe 15 – 20 minutes of airtime in a 6 hour broadcast…and he still beats listening to Mike Milbury and those clowns at NBC.

  13. thegonz13 - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Don, the 70’s just called…. that era is as tired of you as we are in the 21st century.

  14. riles1008 - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Canadian fans are rude, ignorant assholes. This jerkoff up here just proved the point. You cheered silver medal to Ryan Miller in a random NHL game? The guy stood on his head and single handedly led team USA to the almost gold medal while earning Olympic tournament MVP. So you take a shot at him for it? I’m from Buffalo, during the semifinal game at the World juniors here two years ago, Canadian fans started cheering “Canada, Canada” when your team wasn’t even on the ice? It’s awful. The attitude and display of Canadians at the World Juniors here was DISGUSTING. Every team in the tournament and every Buffalo resident complained about the Canadian fans. Vancouver burned down its own city when they lost the cup, TWICE. Your goalie chants are pathetic. Canadian players may “make up 60%” of all teams that make the cup (not sure where that stat comes from), but it sure has been a long time since a Canadian team has won a cup. 20 something years? Also how many countries were using amateurs against Russia? USA started using pros one or maybe two Olympics before Canada switched so don’t make it seem like everyone but Canada used “pros.”

    • pfpmb - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Loosen up man. Fans being “rude” with an opposing player is part of the game. It adds to the home ice advantage. Getting in a player’s head is part of the game. If the fans help, even better. Didn’t realize “SILVER MEDAL” was rude. Just thought it was genius.

      I buy my season tickets to support my hometown, Winnipeg Jets. My vested interest is seeing they win as many games as possible, leading to a possible Stanley Cup. If razing an opposing player (in a clean fashion), standing and cheering is rude, then I’m guilty as charged.

      Calling someone an A-hole is ignorant and probably rude.

      Keep it classy Buffalo.

      • pfpmb - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:43 AM

        Oh, and I forgot, “GO JETS GO!!!”

        Wait, that might be construed as being rude.

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

      Ya Canadians read how you folks in the HOLE that is Buffalo were upset with us giving you your 1st tourism dollars since the Mohawk visited.

      • ralphwilsonisrich - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM

        Will still beat you in the eastern division.

  15. riles1008 - Mar 18, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    The NBC coverage does suck though. Don Cherry piano hands is most def hilarious. And Montreal fans are worried about a coach who can speak French ad well. Maybe they should be worried about the guy who created that team. Getting rid of spacek, both kostitsyns, halak, paying gomez to score two goals in 14 months. The talent on that team is the reason they blow

  16. scoops1 - Mar 18, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    This the same guy that said a European captain will never win a cup. Once a jerk, always a jerk

  17. riles1008 - Mar 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Acting the way Canadian fans did at the World juniors can only be described as ignorant assholes. I’m being very classy by pointing out how Canadian hockey fans are every thing but classy. Burning down your own city when you lose? That’s classy. Chanting silver medal is rude. You want to chant Miller that’s one thing. But taking shots is pathetic, especially considering he was tourney MVP.

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      Your city is a dump and falling apart

      Its an EYESORE when in Niagara and looking across the boarder into what leads to Buffalo

      And we should up and pump a few million dollars into your economy, and you’re all too stupid to shut up and enjoy the $$$.

  18. alexb64 - Mar 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Cherry is a mascot, and I don’t mean that in an insulting way. His personality & pot stirring is why he’s become such a known hockey personality and not a result of it. I agree with maybe 2% of the stuff he says compared to the rest which I find absurd but they’re nothing more than words & opinions. When we get to the point where we think people should be replaced or punished because we don’t agree with them or they say negative (not hateful) things about us we’ve become a world of passive aggressive wusses.

    • sabatimus - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      I have no problem with Canadians. Just Canadiens. And Cherry. I think he should be replaced because he sucks. Simple. Just like Milbury should be replaced because he sucks too.

  19. sjsharksfan11 - Mar 18, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    This pfpmb guy is a real douche. Canada is the wannabe USA. Just face the facts. Give it a few years and the Jets will once again be irrelevant in that garbage Winnipeg town. At least Buffalo has more to offer than your joke city. Nobody wants to play there. Cool goal horn by the way LMAO!

    • pfpmb - Mar 19, 2012 at 12:38 AM

      Seriously? I’m soooooooo hurt by your comments.

      Have you been to Winnipeg? Buffalo? Been to San Jose. It was okay, I guess. Wouldn’t want to go to a hockey game though. I’d be concerend that my wife would get punched for cheering a Jets goal.

      What facts do I need to face? With the Jets coming back to the Winnipeg, there’s a building that’s at 100% capacity for at least the next five years. Can’t say that for a lot of other buildings in the NHL. Merchandise sales are going the through roof. Can’t say that about a lot of other franchises.

      The Jets organization has really strong ownership (Google David Thompson – 17th Wealthiest Person in the World). The MTS Centre is in the top 20 for busiest venues in the world.

      Not too bad for garbage town that doesn’t know it facts.

  20. kitshky - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I’ve never understood the anti – Canada rants you guys go on. You’re going to judge an entire country and culture on what … rude fans at a sporting event and a riot? You do realize that there are dozens of cities in the US renowned for being right jackasses that routinely reach levels of assh*le that is not only shocking ….but bragged about.

    (and it’s not like US fans have never rioted, Detroit ’84, LA 2000/2010 …Disco Demolition night!?)

    This is an article about Don Cherry …calm down kids.

  21. riles1008 - Mar 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    You have a ton of class “firstandonlywarning” just like the Canadian fans I’m talking about. I’m not talking anything bad about Canada at all just that their hockey fans are idiots for the record. Rude, pompous idiots who chant Canada during the US V Russia game. Or how when maple leaf fans come to Buffalo when they play the sabres and randomly start cheering Canada? Retards

  22. rico33rd - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Oh and by the way, Sharks GM Doug Wilson is a Winnipegger, kind of ironic.

  23. sabatimus - Mar 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Draw a crowd? Whenever I see him, I change the channel immediately because I’m nauseated. There isn’t a bigger clown in the history of the league…with the possible exception of Sean Avery.

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