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Don Cherry thinks banning checking at peewee level is a bad move

May 26, 2013, 6:04 PM EDT

Don Cherry Getty Images

On the heels of Saturday’s news that Hockey Canada decided to ban bodychecking at the peewee level, Don Cherry had a simple message on Hockey Night in Canada: you’ll be sorry.

You can watch the full segment starting at the 5:45 minute mark of the video, but if you want quick highlights, The Globe & Mail transcribed his comments.

“You [Hockey Canada] have good intentions, but hey listen, the road to [expletive] is paved with good intentions,” Cherry said. “You’re gonna be sorry. You watch and see, you will be sorry.”

Cherry blamed Hockey Canada for making the politically correct decision and expressed the opinion that players won’t know how to protect themselves when hitting becomes legal.

He also provided an alternate plan: have leagues both with and without checking.

Feel free to watch the full segment here. (Cherry loves grinders.)

  1. devilsarethebest - May 26, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    I think he’ll be sorry for every outfit he’s ever put on.

    • ironman721 - May 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM


  2. JoeAvg - May 26, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    And this just in. Still nobody cares what he thinks.

    • sunderlanding - May 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      …and yet you’re here reading and commenting. Proving that people still do care what he thinks.

      • JoeAvg - May 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        I didn’t read the article.

      • sunderlanding - May 26, 2013 at 11:45 PM

        You still replied. You still clicked on it. Took the time to try to make fun of him. Obviously you care. People who don’t care don’t pay any attention. You paid attention. That’s the way it works.

    • crik911 - May 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Wow really? So you are on PHT and not reading articles. A text based, informative forum for interaction based on the articles posted. Ya you aren’t reading them at all are you. Why is it the older I get the more and more dumb people I meet.

  3. kicksave1980 - May 26, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    I actually agree that there should be two leagues for kids, checking and non-checking. A lot of the instincts involved in hitting and protecting yourself start at a younger age. Emphasis on learning how to take a hit. Some kids don’t want to be too serious about the game, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s where a no-contact league would be beneficial. Everyone should be able to play and learn the great game, but there should definitely be an option.

    • windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Maybe do something where instead of A, AA, and AAA, they do like it used to be for me as a kid. Which was 4 different levels, Tier I, II, III, and IIII. with Tier IIII being worst and Tier I being best. Then have Tiers 1-3 checking, and tier 4 non checking. Because there are gonna be kids moving up from tier 3 to tier 2, and you want them to know how to defend themselves and hit properly, but tier 4 is mostly rec hockey for fun, so there should be no hitting. Thats how it was set up for me, and i remember only 2 kids getting a concussion from the time i played squirts to u18

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 26, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      I agree, I think that’s a very good option and should be investigated. There are plenty of kids who love hockey but for whatever reason don’t want to play contact hockey, let’s have options for those kids.

    • valoisvipers - May 27, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      I think that less than 1% of the kids playing hockey will make it to the NHL. The other 99+% of these kids are just fodder. Why should their long term health be put at risk for a sport and a dream that they will never achieve?

  4. windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Cherry may be an asshat sometimes, but he’s 100% right in this instance. Think about how old PeeWees are, usually 11 and 12. Most kids 11 and 12 are the same size, but once you get into bantams, which is 13 and 14, there is a size difference. Not teaching kids how to properly give and receive a hit at a young age means that when they get older, the less physically mature ones will get destroyed, because they don’t know how to receive a hit. There should be a mandatory hitting class for coaches, and there should be mandatory hitting classes for players as well. When i played peewees, it was probably 10 years ago. And i can tell you no kid in my entire 10 team AAA league got a concussion from a hit, now i think there was a broken arm and maybe a broken collarbone, but im not sure, it was a while ago. Then, when i moved up to bantam AAA, there was heavier hitting, and i remember one kid who played house his whole life somehow made my team, didn’t know how to hit, and 3rd game he had his head down and got a concussion. close to the end of the season he comes back, 2nd game back has his head down again and got cracked, it tore some kind of muscle in his shoulder. Long story short, when you go into bantams with a size difference and aren’t aware of proper hitting technique, youre gonna get laid out and have more injuries. This is a very bad move on Hockey Canadas part

  5. sergeikremlin - May 26, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    What ever happened to the accountability of the parents and the athletes? You enter into sports, or you enter your kids into sports, knowing there is contact and there is a chance you will be injured and you have to do the best you can to protect yourself.

  6. windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Surprised no ones made a joke about crosby playing in a no contact league yet…

  7. banger60 - May 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    He’s a media whore, he had all year to mention that, or rehashing his AHL days on HNIC , he’s not relevant anymore.Go lay down and take a nap.

    • sunderlanding - May 26, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      He mentioned it when the public became aware, because he deals with the public, or maybe you didn’t get that far in school? Media whore or not he knows his hockey, and he’s more entertaining than the other analysts.

  8. csilojohnson - May 26, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Using that logic, players don’t know how to protect themselves when they first start playing altogether.
    I think the “good intention” is to allow the players skulls to harden and joints develop.
    I could see this preventing injury later in their careers.

    • windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Early when players start playing they are usually anywhere from 4-8. When you’re in that age range youre not big or strong enough to injure someone with a check. The “good intention” would be to allow players time to learn how to hit instead of waiting till theyre 14 and saying ok, go run each other over.

    • stakex - May 26, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      Absolutely wrong.

      First of all, the age they are picking has nothing to do with physical development… its just a politicaly correct number in thier view. The development of the skull, which you should actually read up about, has little to do with the likelyhood of a person getting a concussion. Since the force of the hit causes the brain to boucne off the inside of the skull, it really doesn’t matter how “developed” the skull it. It could be a brick wall and it still won’t stop the brain from bouncing around.

      Second, this will actually cause more kids that are 13-14 to be injured. As windmiller4 points out, kids at younger ages can do a lot less damage to eachother. I’ve played hockey since I was four, and hitting wasn’t a serious threat until highschool age. So its best to let them learn how to give and recieve a check before that age, then to throw them into the fire when they are larger and more dangerous to eachother. If you are going to learn your lesson about skateing with your head down the hard way… best to do it against someone younger and smaller don’t you think?

      The misconception here from idiots that have never played the sport is that learning to take a check is a simple thing. That it can be learned in a practice or two. Thats so far from the truth its not even funny. Its an aquired skill that takes a long time to develop, and it only develops with experience. You want kids to already have that skill when they reach a age where they are big enough to throw series checks… and kids that are 14 can throw series checks.

      I never ever say this, but Cherry is correct about this.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 26, 2013 at 8:18 PM

        “Second, this will actually cause more kids that are 13-14 to be injured.” You’re wrong again, stakex.

        After longstanding disagreement over whether to allow hitting among young hockey players, federations in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Quebec have already instituted bans on hitting among their peewee players – most of whom are 11- and 12-years-old.

        The issue gained momentum last year after a study showed that the rate of injury was three times higher in Alberta than in Quebec.

        According to Hockey Alberta, the study indicated that a ban on checking at the peewee level would prevent 400 concussions and more than 1,000 injuries each year in the province.

        Read more:

      • windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Upon reading those facts, it jumps out to me that saying there was less injuries from hitting in quebec as opposed to alberta, but it fails to establish that with more players checking, theres going to be more injuries. Simple numbers game. More people hitting=more injuries. Now, a study that would be interesting, but almost impossible to do, how many of those sustained injuries were from a cheap hit, or a player not properly protecting himself. If you don’t like injuries in hockey and think taking checking out will fix it, then maybe you should just watch figure skating. No contact, and its on ice. Best of both worlds right?

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 27, 2013 at 7:58 AM

        windmiller, 400 concussions. 400! Each of these can lead to CTE. First and foremost, Hockey Canada, or any other hockey organization overseeing hockey has the responsibility to make the game safe. CTE is a new disease with people still wrapping, their heads around the issue. Pun intended. 400 concussions. This is a serious disease caused by concussions. Period!

      • Habib Marwan - May 27, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        Stakex, you really need to find another hobby then trying to be the board know it all along with your boyfriend phillyphantic77 , you’re constantly being proven wrong son.

  9. devilsarethebest - May 26, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    And why is the word “hell” considered expletive on this site?

    • stakex - May 26, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      Yeah. First it was “ass”… now “hell”? Thats beyond prude.

      • devilsarethebest - May 26, 2013 at 7:48 PM

        Lol, tainted must have complained about his daughter reading the site!

  10. banger60 - May 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    sunderhole, your sister told me your a real don cherry lover, but then she said you know nothing about cherries, what?

    • windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      I dont get if that supposed to be a chirp or a sad attempt at being funny. Either way you should probably just delete your account now as your opinion becomes more and more invalid with every post

  11. banger60 - May 26, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Mr.Miller I did not start this, sunderho did not like my comment about don cherry, get your facts straight a- hole, oops, sorry. mind you’re own business like sunder? should have,it was my opinion….

    • windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Ha youre a joke who doesn’t even realize it. kind of sad really

    • hockeyflow33 - May 26, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Opinions can be wrong. Don Cherry knows more about the sport than anyone I can think of on tv. While you may disagree with what he says you’ll be hard-pressed to find an individual whose life has revolved around the game more.

  12. hockeyflow33 - May 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I think the biggest issue nowadays is that too many coaches are just dad and don’t know the sport. It seems to be the reason why USA Hockey also adopted the coaches must wear helmets rule as well. Go to a practice and you’ll see coaches position themselves in shooting areas or with their back to skating lanes.
    I’m assuming Hockey Canada is very similar to USA Hockey in their coaching seminars where you can have level 3 coaches who don’t know a thing about the sport.

    • windmiller4 - May 26, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Very true. I remember my first coach in mites, he had never played hockey before and couldn’t skate, so he would sit on the bench and draw up a simple drill, which we would do for 10 minutes till he decided he didn’t know what was going on and let us scrimmage. Youth hockey has so much room to improve

  13. banger60 - May 26, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    hockeyflow, your comment was truly appreciated, we agree to disagree, thank you!

  14. banger60 - May 26, 2013 at 11:03 PM


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