SBD/October 7, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

CBC's Don Cherry Rips Brendan Shanahan, Former Enforcers Over Fighting

CBC analyst Don Cherry during Thursday night's "Coach's Corner" segment "unleashed a summer's worth of venom" on NHL VP/Player Safety & Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan and "wailed about how the new method of message-sending in the game was players lining up other players and then intentionally missing them," according to Jeff Blair of the GLOBE & MAIL. Cherry said, "The ones that I am really disgusted with ... are the bunch of pukes that fought before: Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson. (They say) 'Oh, the reason that they're drinking, (taking) drugs and alcoholics is because they're fighting.' You turncoats, you hypocrites. If there's one thing I'm not it's a hypocrite. You guys were fighters, and now you don't want guys to make the same living you did" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/7). CBC's Doug Harrison noted Cherry's "target was Brendan Shanahan." Cherry said, "I'd hate to be paying $175 to watch that stuff. Absolutely ridiculous what they've done. The players will not hit. Guaranteed. When you give an excuse to the players not to hit, they will not hit" (CBC.ca, 10/6). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes it will "now be up to the CBC to let us know if the summer's debates had any impact or if, after its own efforts at exposing the damage of head hits, the public broadcaster acts as though it's business as usual." Dowbiggin: "Does publicly accusing alcoholics as 'hypocrites' get swept under the rug with 'Don's an entertainer and as such we don't hold him to journalistic standards?' We can hardly wait to see whether CBC turtles again or has a new sheriff in town" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/7). THE HOCKEY NEWS' Adam Proteau tweeted, "Nice to know a former coach who's made millions selling VHS tapes & DVDs off the backs of fighters can malign them for having opinions."

FIGHT CLUB: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel writes, "Fighting in the NHL is good for the sport, and good for business." Engel: "The reality is that the NHL does not need any new rule in place to take fighting out of the game because the game is taking care of it. Or at least reducing it. With a heavy emphasis placed on speed and skill, NHL GMs are feeling the pinch on spending a roster spot on an enforcer" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 10/7). But a GLOBE & MAIL editorial states the NHL "should adopt an immediate protocol to give a dressing-room concussion checkup to anyone who takes a punch" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/7).
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