Don Cherry goes off about “lefty pinkos” at speech to Toronto city council

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If there’s one thing you can always count of out of CBC hockey man and former NHL head coach Don Cherry it’s that he’ll never pull his punches on his opinions. Whether you like them or not is another story completely, of course, and while many fans will remember him for his rants against European players and always doing his part to stick up for a “good Canadian boy” during Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night In Canada.

One side of Cherry that you may not know all that well is his politics. We don’t enjoy discussing politics here and we’ll always save that action for our friends at MSNBC. They’re a lot better at it than we are anyhow. Cherry was an invited guest to speak at Toronto city council today on behalf of Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Ford is the source of controversy in Toronto (what elected official isn’t?) and happens to fall on the right side of the political spectrum. If you think Cherry is one to mince words when it comes to politics, then you don’t know Don Cherry very well.

The Torontoist has the transcript of Cherry’s speech, of which there’s just too much stuff to make you shake your head and wonder what in the hell he’s even saying. If these first three paragraphs don’t sell you on reading the rest, well, that’s just your fault.

“Actually I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in. What’d ya expect, Ron MacLean, here? To come here?

“You know, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing, coming down with Ron—Rob—and I was gonna do this here, and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I’ve been bein’ ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a pink…a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I’d wear that for him too, today.”

So to sum things up, just from this snippet, Cherry fires off against:

  • Left-wingers (presumably not those on the ice)
  • Pinkos
  • Bicycle riders
  • Newspaper writers

Further into the speech he also declared his war on old trees. A crazy, old man on a rant? Perhaps. Puck Daddy was happy to break things down a little more simply as to what we learned from this.

As a person in the media at all times, Cherry probably knows better than to go off like this knowing full well that it’s going to cause a stir. Then again, Cherry has that role on television where he’s like your cranky grandfather. You get him going about something, all of a sudden you’re transported to another era where the language was more colorful (in this case, literally) and definitely less politically correct. It makes you blush, it makes you want to keep him quiet and depending on your political take on things it might even make you want to shout right back at him.

Are we going to get up in arms over him rambling on and on? No, it’s one man’s opinion and whether you like it or not, Cherry doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him or what he’s saying. Besides, how do you get mad at a guy that wears a flamboyant pink suit like that? It’s impossible.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.