Don Cherry explains criticism of Sidney Crosby
Don Cherry responded Monday to reports of a rift with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in the first intermission of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.
"We have no feud," Cherry told viewers on Hockey Night in Canada.
Cherry acknowledged on Coach's Corner that he has been critical of what he perceives to be Crosby's penchant for embellishing plays, so as to draw penalties.
But the colourful commentator claimed he did the same thing with Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.
"If you ask Gretzky, I gave it to Gretzky pretty good because he was flopping around," Cherry said. "I gave it to Mario and I tried to tell Crosby what's going on.
"Mario was diving all over the place and he embarrassed the referees and, after a while, they wouldn't call anything against him … that's all I tried to do with Crosby.
"I tried to teach him that and not to yap at the referee and he's doesn't do it anymore. But it's too late."
Cherry estimated Crosby had drawn just four penalties in Pittsburgh's playoff run.
"You know why?" Cherry said. "They won't call it on him."
Cherry has never met Crosby, who leads all skaters with 26 playoff points, including 20 assists.
"He is a good hockey player … I have nothing against the kid," Cherry said.
"I grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada just like every kid," Crosby told reporters on Saturday. "I have heard negative things on there more than positive things, but it hasn't changed me.
"I still watch it whenever I get the chance. There is really nothing there.
"I have never met him and I have nothing against him, whatsoever. I don't think there is really much to say."
Game 6 goes Wednesday at Pittsburgh (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET).
With files from the Canadian Press