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Don Cherry on John Scott: ‘He’s got to do something or he’s going to be gone’

Oct 27, 2013, 12:02 AM EDT

Game 5 - Ottawa Senators v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

Don Cherry, the star of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, has voiced his opinion on the John Scott hit to the head of Loui Eriksson from earlier this week.

“Now here’s a story. He sits there for 55 minutes. He’s put on the ice. He’s got to do something. He’s got to do something or he’s going to be gone. … It’s so unfair,” Cherry said during his popular and polarizing Saturday evening segment, as per The Canadian Press.

On Wednesday, Scott, the Sabres’ massive enforcer, caught Eriksson, the Bruins’ forward with a vicious hit to the head in the third period of that game.

Eriksson has since been diagnosed with a concussion, while Scott has an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, which means the suspension he faces could exceed five games.

  1. Josh - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    This just goes to show how out of touch Don Cherry is. If a guy can’t contribute for more than five minutes of a 60-minute hockey game, why does he deserve to be in the NHL? How is it unfair? How is it fair to the player who can play 10-15 minutes a game who Scott is keeping in the AHL? More importantly, how is it fair to Loui Eriksson, who may be lucky to play another minute this season (and may have his entire career permanently altered)?
    I get it. Don Cherry is on TV to generate ratings and everyone knows he’s going to say something ridiculous. But give me a break. He loses credibility when it comes to the modern game every time he says something like this.

    The NHL isn’t here to be fair to every person who dreamed of playing there, otherwise I’d be suiting up. If John Scott doesn’t have enough on-ice ability to warrant more than five minutes of contributions, well then I think it’s time for him to find another profession.

    • sunderlanding - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:38 AM

      Your comment just goes to show you don’t know what he way saying. He’s saying the coach didn’t handle the 4th line properly. Most good teams have an effective 4th line (Boston, LA, Chicago etc.) and they put them in the game early and keep them involved until the end. Sure Buffalo’s 4th line isn’t as good, but none of their lines are as good as other NHL teams. Don Cherry wasn’t defending what Scott did. He was explaining why it happened. When your job is to be a physical presence, and you have a rare shift late in the game you try to do something to make an impression. He tried too hard.

  2. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    Cherry’s trying to defend guys like John Scott, but I think he inadvertently explained why guys like that are useless.

    If you feel like you need to destroy players to prove you deserve the measly 5 minutes you get, you aren’t doing much good for the NHL. The league needs Louie Eriksson and Phil Kessel scoring goals more than it needs John Scott trying to kill them to earn ice time.

  3. vipod4ever - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Don Cherry is the voice of many….many neanderthals across Canada. These types of players help sell his videos. As a Canadian and father of a child who plays hockey I’m embarrased to share my passport with this idiot.

    • sunderlanding - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:39 AM

      Clearly you don’t know much about hockey.

  4. AppealToReason - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    I thought Cherry’s point was actually pretty good, and it goes past the quote in the article.

    Scott sits on the bench for ages, then gets sent out in a 2-goal game in the third period. Without being told, he knows he has to do something to “spark” the team.

    I’m even pretty sure Cherry called him an idiot for the hit too.

    • patthehockeyfan - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      I happened to watch Cherry’s comments live yesterday. I don’t recall him calling Scott an idiot. His point was that Scott is on the team to be a goon. Scott did what was expected of him.

      I watched that Sabres – Bruins game, too. I thought the hit was despicable, and that it deserved a fine and suspension. The question, though, is, does the coach deserve some blame (or fine) for sending a hit man into the game?

      While I’m not fond of fighting, I understand that it has its place in the game, and that fans expect it. But, sending a goon into a game to hurt someone? The coach expected Scott to do some damage. Scott knew and did what was expected of him.

      Start fining the coaches, too. The best place to hit someone is in his wallet. Only then will we see this situation rectified.

      • mjw9326mjw9326 - Oct 27, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        Actually you can go higher than just the coach who is clueless out there. Start with the moron who is the GM of this team. He has already “rebuilt” this team once. Now that it’s a train wreck that is the WORST in the league, he gets to “rebuild” it gain. This sounds like something the federal government would do(any administration).
        Everyone except Terry Pegula and his cronies realize that this guy stinks as a GM and wonder WHY he still runs this team. I wonder what he has on him.
        Regier is the one who traded for him. Look no further than that.

  5. blomfeld - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    Even though it’s always contained ‘some’ element of truth, I never cared for Cherry’s schtick in the beginning and I still don’t care for it today … regardless, next up are the Edmonton Oil Sheiks tomorrow night at Staples Center … and man are we ever going to have these people running like camels eh ? :)

    GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. bullwinkle88 - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    John Scott played for more than 5 minutes. In fact he had a regular shift, so anyone out there who believes Cherry is simply wrong.

    Also – I don’t think it was an illegal hit. The hit wasn’t from behind. He didn’t intend to hurt Eriksson. But given the height disparity, John’s shoulder is level to Eriksson’s chin. What’s he supposed to do? Crouch?

    Knock-out hits when a player’s head is down is relished by the fans, and no penalty is called, even if a concussion occurs. I don’t see this hit as being any different.

    Scott is not a goon. He is an enforcer who doesn’t try to hurt people.

    • mp1131211 - Oct 27, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      There is a lot to debate about this incident, but the legality of the hit is not one of them. Hit to the head with an elbow which was completely avoidable. Illegal, period.

  7. dirtydrew - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Sounds like the end of enforcer or goon hockey.

  8. arbruins - Oct 27, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Bullwinkle, How many goals has Scott scored during his career and what is his average ice time….face it, he is a Goon.

    As usual, the media took what they wanted from a commentary to get people stirred up. Write the entire article or better yet, just post a link to the commentary. That way, your job is done and people will get their info from the source.

  9. ironmd778 - Oct 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Many of you completely misinterpreted his point.

    • dueman - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      I think that was Tucker’s intention. Cherry was by no means defending Scott’s actions, but was instead throwing some of the blame at Rolston as well.

  10. dontbsuchapuss - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Cherry is a moron and should just shut his mouth. Hockey is well on its way to being over regulated and full of rules that take the enjoyment out of it. At the nhl level they make millions and just like all sports you are paid to take the risks of injury so man up stop complaining and realize your playing a game that there is no reason that you make that much money except for the fact there is risk of being hurt.

    • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      agreed. damn the commissioner for making helmets mandatory and now visors. let the boys concuss each other. after all, they know the risks associated with the game. in case you missed it, I am being sarcastic.

  11. martin492013 - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Now Buffalo only owes the Bruins 155 cheap shots for all the Bruin cheap shots over the years. Hearing Lucic complain about a cheap shot is so touching. He got off with no suspension for running down Miller a few years back. And Mike Milbury complaining about this play is a joke. Hit a fan with a shoe lately Mike, or are you still worried about those charges you have pending when you where threatening a kid at one of your sons games.

    • tdrusher225 - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:38 PM


      • martin492013 - Oct 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM


      • tdrusher225 - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        Coming from the guy talking about players’ careers like you’re playing a video game and defending John Scott on the basis that players from Boston deserve any punishment they get because Lucic knocked over Ryan Miller. Then throw in a personal shot at Mike Milbury for no reason other than he’s bad mouthing your team with accurate criticisms. Troll.

    • olhockeypop - Oct 28, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Milbury beating on Pee Wee’s. Right I value his opinion .

  12. ralphwilsonisrich - Oct 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Cherry one flaming idiot with those suits. RM should drop you day!

  13. Anoesis - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Saw the headline ( ‘He’s got to do something or he’s going to be gone’) and thought, hey, maybe Cherry is finally realizing that some players need to change the way they play or they’re simply going to spend the rest of their careers in the box or suspended. Then I read the rest of the article.

  14. jacketsfan7 - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Same here^^^^
    Cherry often has point and at other times is a complete dumbass

    • patthehockeyfan - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      To both Anoesis and jacketsfan7: Cherry neither defended nor condemned what Scott did. In fact, he likened it to when he played for Rochester and, more or less, did something similar. Put into the game with a few minutes left, he (Cherry) got on to the ice and proceeded to drop his gloves to fight an opponent who had been knocking around Rochester players. He said that he knew what his coach wanted him to do, and he did it.

      I think Cherry should have said what Scott did was wrong. I think, too, that he should have blamed coaches who put these guys in for no other reason than to hurt the opponent.

      P.S. jacketsfan7 wrote: “Cherry often has a point … .” Unfortunately, it’s usually the one on the top of his head.

  15. mikemaric - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    The game has changed. Scott Stevens is a HOF player for laying out hits 10 times worse than what Scott delivered. These guys grow up learning how to hit like that and now they are vilified for it. Tough to unlearn what you have been doing since Pee Wee hockey. I bet Shanahan had delivered worse himself with no penalty no less.

    I hear what cherry is saying, “cut Scott some slack”. He should get some discipline although a lot less than what the bleeding hearts suggest as he is not a repeat offender.

  16. banger60 - Oct 27, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    Okay Don, now off to the home for old hockey players that don’t matter anymore!

  17. hockeyflow33 - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Reading comprehension seems to be difficult for many on here. Can someone point out where Cherry said he liked what Scott did?

    • patthehockeyfan - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      I think, hockeyflow33, that most readers expected, or maybe wanted to read that Cherry condemned Scott’s actions. Instead, what was quoted was: “Now here’s a story. He sits there for 55 minutes. He’s put on the ice. He’s got to do something. He’s got to do something or he’s going to be gone. … It’s so unfair.”

      Scott’s hit gave Eriksson a concussion (which, by the way, was known at the time Cherry spoke). It’s the ‘unfair’ remark that most likely rankled a few readers, including me. Eriksson has a concussion; and Cherry says that what is happening to Scott is unfair.

      At the very least, it was a poor choice of words on Cherry’s part.

      • hockeyflow33 - Oct 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        On some level it’s true. He’s on the Sabres to do just what he did so to vilify him for doing his job and not look to the coaching staff/management as being a large part of the problem is ridiculous.

      • dueman - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        Cherry did say that Scott’s hit was terrible, but went on to say that the coach should take some of the blame as well, and that was the reason for his story. A lot of people might not like Cherry, but he has done a lot for the game. He might not please everyone, but pleasing everyone is usually not an attainable goal. Whether you like him or not, the man knows hockey!

  18. joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Was Scott’s hit to the head intentional? In my view it was not. So, it’s not a cheap shot, but he will be punished because it’s a head shot, and therefore suspend-able. There may have to be a new rule added to the NHL rule book and categorized under head shots. Any hit, accidental or not, to the head shall result in a major penalty, and a game misconduct, and can be subject to additional disciplinary actions. This means a player who hits another with a stick, shoulder, elbow, or punch with the glove to the head would be punished by this rule. Additionally, and player assessed a 5 major for fighting would also get a game misconduct. Many players had to retire because of repeats concussions, and their well being over the long term is very much in doubt. Scott Stevens, Eric Lindros, Pat Lafontaine, Keith Primeau, Stu Grimson, Matthew Barnaby, Mike Richter, Geoff Courtnall, Adam Deadmarsh etc…

    • hockeyflow33 - Oct 27, 2013 at 4:26 PM


      • joey4id - Oct 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Is the plain truth too much to handle for those of you who couldn’t care less about the well being of others?

      • dueman - Oct 27, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        From now on I think that everybody should just stop engaging Joey about any topic that he can try to spin onto fighting period! If nobody feeds him maybe he’ll grow up a bit and let this crap go already. To Joey, everybody knows your stance, and the only thing that you are accomplishing by not letting this go, is making everybody think that you are simply a douche! Let it go!

  19. christinajkimbrell - Oct 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    READ PROPER….my classmate’s step-sister makes 85/hr on the computer. She has been fired from work for six months but last month her paycheck was 20225 just working on the computer for a few hours. useful content… WRITE in your browser……. ᴊᴏʙs72.ᴄᴏᴍ

  20. colonelfancy - Oct 27, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Given Scott’s size, there’s no reason for his arms to ever be raised when bracing for a hit on someone. He’s 270 lbs, for crying out loud. Either learn how to be an effective defensive player (or at the very least agitator) or get out of the league!! Ron Rolston should bear some of the responsibility, because he is only encouraging this kind of play. I really hope Miller can get out of this tire fire of a team soon. He deserves better.

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