Don Cherry has his pulpit back | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaDon Cherry has his pulpit back

Posted: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | 02:34 PM

Back to accessibility links
Hockey fans will get a double dose of commentator Don Cherry every Saturday during the 60th season of Hockey Night in Canada. (Mark Blinch/Reuters) Hockey fans will get a double dose of commentator Don Cherry every Saturday during the 60th season of Hockey Night in Canada. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Beginning of Story Content

Don Cherry has kept busy during the lengthy NHL lockout by sharing his opinions on his Twitter account, @CoachsCornerCBC, but the former Jack Adams Trophy winner is excited about his return to where he is most happy, his Coach's Corner pulpit.

For four months, Don Cherry has been without his Saturday night pulpit.

Oh, Grapes has kept busy during the lengthy NHL lockout by sharing his opinions on his Twitter account, @CoachsCornerCBC, and watching minor midget action in the Toronto area with his son Tim, an Ontario Hockey League junior scout.

But the former Jack Adams Trophy winner is only days away from where he is most comfortable -- on Coach's Corner -- and he's ready to go.

In fact, Cherry will have expanded duties when the curtain is raised on the 60th season of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. Besides his popular Coach's Corner segment in the first intermission of the early game, Cherry will also be front and centre in the first intermission of the nightcap.

He took time this week to discuss his broadcasting career, the lockout, his expanded Saturday night duties, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's role in the lockout, the shortened season and his Stanley Cup pick.

1. Hockey Night in Canada is celebrating its 60th season this year. You have been a mainstay on the Saturday night broadcast for more than half of those six decades. You turn 79 on Feb. 5, what keeps you going?

"Why I keep going is because I love Coach's Corner. I wouldn't tell CBC this but I'd do it for nothing. The best thing in the world is to be playing. The next best is coaching and the next best is to be on television doing Coach's Corner.

"If I think about it, I've been in the final the last 25 years."

2. You've had a voice during the four-month lockout on your Twitter account that has more than 128,000 followers in less than a year, but can you give us a hint of what you're going to talk about this Saturday and your thoughts on doing double duty on with segments during the early and late games?

"I can't let you know what I'm going to talk about on Saturday. I don't even tell Ron MacLean. But I am looking forward to doing the end of the first period in the second game. I've always wondered why they never asked me before. I never volunteered because my father always said 'never volunteer for anything.'

"People out West always wondered why I never talked about the second game. It's a smart move and I'm looking forward to doing it. I was asked what will be the difference in it and I said 'the beers will be a little colder when I get home.'

"It won't be a Coach's Corner. It will be just commenting on the first period of the second game and other games that went on. It will be about three or four minutes."

3. You credited NHL commissioner Gary Bettman with playing a big role in solving the lockout. Yet, you have always been a players' guy. Do you fear any backlash from the players?

"There is no doubt about Gary Bettman's part. Anybody in the right mind knows he pulled the trigger on it. If he didn't do it the season would not have been saved. It was either he approves it or doesn't approve it. I think that's the way it is.

"I've been at this a long time and I don't get worried about people getting mad at me."

4. Do you have any problem with a shortened season? Is it still meaningful?

"I think the shortened season will be absolutely tremendous. I know a lot of people are saying 'good,' too. You won't have those mid-season blahs. It's going to be a four-pointer every game toward making the playoffs. It's intra-conference. There will be a lot of animosity, as Ron MacLean would say, because of how many times you play each other.

"There might be a lot of injuries, but that's the name of the game. I'm looking forward to it."

5. Finally, which team do you like to win the Stanley Cup and why?

"Anybody who thinks they can pick the Stanley Cup winner before the season is out of their mind. If you're looking for a team that feels it still has something to prove, I'll still go with L.A.

"But I would also say the New York Rangers with [Rick] Nash looks like they're ready to make a move. But you can't tell. When you get an eighth-place club like L.A. annihilating everyone, how can you tell?"

End of Story Content

Back to accessibility links

Story Social Media

End of Story Social Media

Comments are closed.