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Grapes to players: Smarten up!

Nov 23, 2012, 12:29 PM EDT

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Don Cherry thinks NHL players need to “smarten up” and knock it off with the name-calling.

Grapes vented his opinion on Friday in a column for the Toronto Star:

I can understand the frustration of the players not gettin’ a paycheque because I’m not gettin’ a paycheque. But if the players think they’re helping themselves by calling Bettman an idiot and sayin’ Bettman is a cancer. . . . First, you unfeelin’ jerks. How do you think the people with cancer feel? What is the point of stickin’ Bettman and the NHL? All you do is make them more determined. Because now, and I agree with Cory Schneider, it’s almost gettin’ personal. Because I don’t care who you are, nobody likes to be called a cancer or an idiot.

And, how ’bout the players now gettin’ caps that say on the front “Puck Gary?” Can’t you see you’re hurtin’ your own cause? And, by the way, you’re hurtin’ a lot more people, too, than yourselves. The lower-echelon people in the standings. The ushers. The concession guy. The cleaners. Me, I’m in that lower echelon, and the list goes on. We want it settled as much as you. Can’t Donald Fehr (pronounced Fuhr) tell these dummies to shut up?

That’s a lot of apostrophes.

But Cherry makes a good point. The personal insults don’t make the players look very professional, and it’s not helping the process.

In a related story, the players shouldn’t use phrases like “bunch of pukes” to describe the owners or “little weasel” to describe the commissioner.

Wouldn’t be professional.

  1. loinstache - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Hypocritical but entirely correct. We’re already seeing that players going public are starting to damage team relations, a factor that only aids the owners. I’m as unhappy with the league as anyone else, but there are less childish and more effective ways to call them out.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Besides his gross hypocrisy (bunch of pukes, etc), it is utterly grotesque of this charlatan to lump himself in with the ushers and other minimum-wage staffers hurt by this latest lockout. The guy is believed to make well more than $500,000 a year. And while some players’ comments are obviously not very adult, as a cancer survivor I was not at all offended.

      • sunderlanding - Nov 23, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        It’s not really a hypocrisy. It’s his job to critisize, and further more people tune in to hear him say what he thinks without restraint or filter. The players are paid to play, and are part of a union trying to negotiate with these so called “cancers”. When they say it it makes them look petty and weak. If he was a player calling Versteeg a puke for calling Bettman a cancer then it would be hypocricy, but it isn’t it’s just another good observation by the most honest and one of the knowledgeable hockey comentators on the planet.

  2. bostonboy82 - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Atta’boy Grapes!

  3. sjsharksfan11 - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    For once I liked what this typical Canadian clown had to say

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Glad to see this typical American clown is coming around. Don Cherry may be a loudmouth but he makes quite a few good points when it comes to hockey.

    • ron05342 - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      This kind of disrespectful comment towards an entire country is totally expected from a typical southern California blind-hatred bay area clown such as yourself.

      Thanks for the affirmation.

      • manchestermiracle - Nov 24, 2012 at 1:51 AM

        Just a wild guess, but since his handle has sjsharks in it I’m going to assume he’s a San Jose-area fan. Last time I looked at a map San Jose was in northern California. You did put “bay area” in your response, but maybe that was just geography-ignorance, too.

        Your comeback would have had a lot more impact if you hadn’t negated your criticism of his blanket insult by doing the exact same thing. “I know you are, but what am I?” is grade-school idiocy no matter who chants it.

      • ron05342 - Nov 26, 2012 at 12:15 AM


        I know all about sjsharks11, the guy who died a miserable death as he watched our Kings roll through the playoffs, while his team got gutted by the Blues.

        He’s close enough to the bay area without you having to parse every word I write, in terms of “geography-correctness.” Much of my post was literary license, but it may have gone over your head a bit.

        This, after all, is entertainment-driven. There was no overreaching purpose on my part except for the entertainment effect. I am not going to change the world posting on this blog; not many people read it and even less take it very seriously.

        Except you, apparently.

  4. bcisleman - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I wish I had Cherry’s “lower echelon” bank account.

  5. rainyday56 - Nov 23, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Don should know. He’s been known to stick his foot in it from time to time. In front of a national audience no less.

  6. moagecu - Nov 23, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    so he tried to use the guilt trip on them? “how would someone with cancer feel?” get out of here with that.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 23, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      That part was pretty weak. The rest is sound.

  7. shoobiedoobin - Nov 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Oh shut up Grapes, this guy calls people idiots like he wears ugly suits. Every day, loudly and more than we’d all like.

    Reality is, I don’t care who you are, you don’t like a TON of the crap going on right now, players AND owners. And I’ve always believed if you’re willingly being an idiot, you deserve to be called one honestly. Professionalism is just a shield to allow us to act a certain way without anyone calling us out.

  8. mrchainbluelightning - Nov 23, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    You know you have gone to far when Grapes is the voice of reason

  9. lrg51 - Nov 23, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Seldom agree with this character entertainer. But he’s right.

    C’ Ya next year NHL… Maybe.

    Love the Sabres. We have a fantastic owner. I will miss hockey.

    But now my family and I have moved on… For us… the season is lost as far as we are concerned.

    Gary… thanks for bringing basketball intelligence to the NHL. You really phucked up this league…

    • ron05342 - Nov 23, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      Yeah, Gary sure did…let’s see.

      Marginal players who are tweeting all kinds of vile stuff about Gary would not even be in a 16-team league. They actually have Bettmann to thank for such expansion; otherwise, they would be playing in Europe or Russia…or the AHL.

      But the morons don’t see it that way. They can only get as far as their smartphone and tweet something stupid.

      Hockey players. Sheesh.

  10. sabatimus - Nov 23, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Don Cherry hurts the NHL. And my eyes and ears.

  11. id4joey - Nov 23, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    As if we needed Cherry to say what he said for all of us to realize that name calling isn’t appropriate. Perhaps we can take note of what he said, and apply on PHT. What? Easier said than done you say.

  12. jollyjoker2 - Nov 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    millionaires fighting billionaires. Oh , the pain! …You know, the average salary of an NHL player? Enough is never enough. Let them all sit on strike, and when they hurt themselves enough – one side will give but I can tell you the players will never, ever retain the kind of compensation than if they would have agreed to the 50-50 split.

  13. manchestermiracle - Nov 24, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    I love that he wants players (the “dummies”) to shut up, just wish he’d say that into a mirror. On the other hand he’s wearing a suit that doesn’t make my eyes bleed. He really must not be getting a check and had to dip into the normal suit closet.

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