Outspoken hockey analyst Don Cherry was at it again over the weekend, this time voicing his displeasures at Hockey Canada.
Cherry believes Florida Panthers first overall pick, Aaron Ekblad, should not have been participating in exhibition scrimmages at Canada’s development camp.
Ekblad was concussed during Canada’s 6-2 win over the Czech Repulic on Aug. 5 and sent home early from the camp after consultation with the Panthers.
On Saturday, Cherry, 80, took to Twitter to voice his opinion:
It’s often hard to agree with much of what Cherry says these days; however, this time he’s hit the nail on the head. Ekblad, who should make the Panthers roster out of training camp, doesn’t even need to be at such a camp as he likely won’t be released by Florida for the December tournament.
Related: Get to know a draft pick – Aaron Ekblad
Don Cherry had a very simple message for Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night: Smarten up.
Sean Fitz-Gerald of The National Post shares Cherry’s advice to Kadri.
“You know how I like this guy,” Cherry said. “How he could do what he did; hit the goaltender, he could have been suspended twice … Smarten up, Kadri. Nazem, you know what I think of you, but you played stupid. They could use you right now.”
Kadri is serving a three-game suspension for running, and injuring, Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and his absence along with injuries to Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland put the Leafs in a bind up the middle. They played both games of their home-and-home set against the Buffalo Sabres and will play Tuesday’s game against the New York Islanders without Kadri.
In the meantime, they’ve had to call up Trevor Smith from the AHL and acquired Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks to help fill ranks at center. Kadri will return on Thursday night when the Leafs face the Nashville Predators.
The cost to get rights to broadcast the NHL in Canada may wind up being too costly for Canada’s national broadcaster.
CBC, the home of Hockey Night in Canada, has an exclusive window to negotiate a new deal to carry the NHL that ends in August. As Steve Ladurantaye of The Globe And Mail shares, time is running out, money is tight, and TSN is eager to pounce on the rights.
But the league must step lightly – both broadcasters have reasons to let the NHL pass them by. “This isn’t a slam dunk for the NHL by any means,” one broadcast executive said. “It’s not as straightforward as someone might think.”
CBC has had Saturday night hockey since 1953 and the current deal expires after this season. Ladurantaye says CBC could lose as much as $175 million if they lose out on the TV package. Hockey broadcasts are also a big money winner for CBC to help them produce other shows.
It would be hard to imagine not seeing Hockey Night in Canada on CBC anymore. If the cost is too high, Don Cherry and his wild suits and opinions might wind up elsewhere.
One guy we were all curious to hear from concerning Ilya Kovalchuk’s “retirement” from the NHL was Don Cherry.
Grapes’ thoughts in the past on players not from North America have always been lively, to say the least, and his take on Kovalchuk is no different as he told Bryan Angus of NextSportsStar.com. (h/t Puck Daddy)
“The Russians and the foreign people can have their cake and eat it, too,” he said. “They don’t like it here? ‘Hey, I’ll just…go back to the KHL and grab $77 million!’ And hey, why shouldn’t he? Hey, it’s tax free! So right off the top he’s saving 50 percent.
“So that’s why a lot of people are afraid to draft Russians. They do what they want to do and we cater to them. I’m the only guy that says the truth. You know, they have their cake and eat it, too, and Kovalchuk is just laughing all the way to the bank.”
For what you expect to hear from Cherry, this isn’t quite as over the top as it could’ve been. There’s more of the “Russian effect” talk and an “‘atta boy” for Kovalchuk getting paid.
There was one zinger though:
“You’re getting [millions] tax free over there … In a sense, if you don’t have any honor, it’s a pretty good deal.”
Well played, Grapes. Here’s the full video of his take on Kovalchuk.
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.)