Canada

MacLean unfazed by Cherry's 'pukes' comment

Coach's Corner host Ron MacLean says he didn't see a problem when hockey commentator Don Cherry made his "pukes" comment about three former NHL players for their stance on fighting.
More than just Don Cherry's sidekick, Ron MacLean touts his new book, but waxes philosophical on sport in this CBC interview 9:11

Coach's Corner host Ron MacLean says he didn't see a problem when hockey commentator Don Cherry made his "pukes" comment about three former NHL players for their stance on fighting.

"I knew Don was quoting Georges Laraque [who] had said, 'It makes me puke that guys are turning on the idea of fighting.' So I understood to my ear, and maybe I understand Don's 30 seconds better than most, but I really didn't see trouble in it at all," MacLean said Thursday.

"I don't like any name calling, and Don ... he was just quoting Laraque."

MacLean made the comments on CBC News Network during an interview with Nancy Wilson for the launch of his new book Cornered.

On Oct. 6, during his usual segment on the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, Cherry said he was "really disgusted" with former players Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson.

Cherry said: "What [former NHL enforcer] Georges Laraque said about them: 'A bunch of pukes' .… You guys, you were fighters and now you don't want guys that make the same living you did."

Cherry called the three former players "turncoats" and "hypocrites."

Grimson, Nilan and Thomson have called Cherry's comments about them them "baseless and slanderous" and they've said they are considering legal recourse.

The comments Cherry apparently alluded to come from an earlier radio interview with Laraque.

In a Sept. 2 news story, the QMI news agency quoted former enforcer Laraque as telling Edmonton radio station 880 AM: "All the former guys I used to fight, and who think they [NHL] should phase that out, they make me want to puke."

"That's selfish, because there's another guy like me who won't be talented enough [skill-wise] to make it to the NHL," Laraque said.

Laraque disagreed with comments from Nilan, who said the NHL should ban fighting because it's no longer a factor in the games," QMI reported.

Comments on Cherry's latest stance have been heated and divisive, but MacLean said Thursday he expects the latest furor will blow over.

"We've been in the crosshairs so many times ... that I will always say this will pass. It's always aggravating to go everywhere for a week and to answer that same question. That's probably the only part that is difficult about it at all."