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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.

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