Is it time to get bid adieu to Don Cherry?
What I’m going to share with you this week won’t be a popular thing. It’s about hockey and one of this nation’s most cherished figures.
Now, I know it’s summer so who wants to hear about ice and cold. Well, apparently Canadians do.
Hockey is a 12-month a year thing, so bear with me.
I know Coach’s Corner is a Canadian hockey institution, but isn’t it high time we found a replacement for Cherry? Just hear me out for a second. The man is 82-years-old and speaks of a game beginning to pass him by. His intermission coaching advice still contains some nuggets. Young players can learn some things from him, but it’s nothing paying attention to the games won’t tell you.
A good coach will probably already touch on a lot of what he says anyway.
The thing that really grinds my gears about him is his blatant hypocrisy when it comes to Canadian players.
Every one of them can walk on water if you were to believe Mr. Cherry. They’re always humble, love their mothers (they probably do) and give the game an honest effort every time out.
How many Canadian under20 (World Juniors) players throw their bodies into the glass after a goal, even when up a ton?
There are plenty. One of them even lost his stick once during a celebration once. Yet, there is Cherry telling us the ‘good Canadian boys” don’t do the over-the-top celebration thing and he chides the Europeans for doing it. Give me a break. The final straw for me came a couple of weekends ago. It was the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo.
The Maple Leafs took a Russian, a Swede and three Americans in the first three rounds, while finishing with four Americans, three Russians, three Canadians and a Swede.
That didn’t sit well with ol’ Don. He hopped on Twitter and gave his opinion on the draft. Cherry was looking for a more Ontario heavy draft group from Toronto. The Greater Toronto Hockey League has 40,000 kids and that should’ve been the focus.
Instead, the GTHL was put on the backburner by the Leafs. It was a kick in the pills according to Cherry.
“We were looking forward to the draft so much and he drafts three Americans, a Swede and a Russian in the first three rounds but we will still cheer and support the Leafs.”
What difference does it make if their from Stockholm or Mississauga?
The only thing that should matter is whether the kids can play or not. It’s the best day so far in the lives of many of these players. They don’t deserve to be thrown under the bus because a couple of kids from Ontario had their feelings hurt because the Leafs didn’t pick them. Deal with it. But, it speaks to the double standard Cherry holds for hockey as a whole. It’s a reflection of how Canadians feel about the game and their players.
There’s arrogance in this country about hockey. First, there’s the notion that everyone loves hockey — that isn’t true — it’s our national game (only partly true) and the best captains can only be from Canada.
Being a hockey snob isn’t cool. The best goal scorer we’ve seen in a decade is Russian, the best defenceman was a Swede and a bunch of Finns are at the top of the goaltending heap.
I like Don Cherry. I just wish he’d give everyone who isn’t Canadian an honest shake.