With his television future uncertain following this week’s historic deal between the NHL and Rogers Communication, Don Cherry used Saturday’s Coach’s Corner to defend the long running and controversial segment.
“Everybody asks me about Coach’s Corner. Now look, I’m happy the way things are,” Cherry said during the first period intermission of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Montreal Canadiens game on Hockey Night in Canada.
“If you’re No. 1 … I know I’m good. I didn’t fall off the turnip truck. I know everybody watches, so all I’m saying is take it easy, don’t try to ruin a good thing. Just leave us alone and we’ll be just as good next year.”
Cherry’s future was suddenly put up in the air this week when the massive 12-year, $5.2 billion TV deal between the league and Rogers was announced Tuesday morning.
Even the 79-year-old Canadian icon didn’t have answers earlier in the week.
“I have no idea what’s going on. I haven’t talked to CBC, I didn’t see the press conference, I was en route somewhere,” Cherry said, as per The Canadian Press. “So I’m asking you guys — do I have a job?”
Prior to sounding off about the Rogers-NHL deal, Cherry took time to discuss a concussion lawsuit filed against the NHL by a reported 200 former players.
“This is my opinion. Not CBC’s, not Rogers or anything like that,” said Cherry. “Listen, this is a money grab as far as I’m concerned.
“The big thing is it’s an insult to me. I coached in the American (Hockey) League, I coached in the National Hockey League. Do you think I would let a guy go on if the doctor came to me and said, ‘he shouldn’t play.’ That’s absolute nonsense. It’s a disgrace to say I would do that and the doctors … as far as I’m concerned, it’s a money grab.”