Entertainment

Without Don Cherry, Sportsnet exploring 'new formats' for 1st intermission show

Don't expect an immediate replacement for fired commentator Don Cherry on Coach's Corner. Sportsnet told CBC News on Friday that it will explore “new formats” for the first intermission of Hockey Night in Canada.

Saturday night will feature 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Sportsnet told CBC News on Friday that it will explore 'new formats' for the first intermission of Hockey Night in Canada. (Sportsnet)

Don't expect an immediate replacement for fired commentator Don Cherry on Coach's Corner, as Sportsnet told CBC News on Friday that it will explore "new formats" for the first intermission of Hockey Night in Canada.

Saturday night's first intermission will feature the 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, Sportsnet told CBC's Simon Dingley. The 2019 class is headlined by Canadian Olympic icon Hayley Wickenheiser and includes Guy Carbonneau, Sergei Zubov, Vaclav Nedomansky, Jim Rutherford and Jerry York.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins for Sportsnet's primetime Hockey Night game Saturday night, followed by the Vancouver Canucks hosting the Colorado Avalanche.

Cherry's nearly four-decade run on Hockey Night ended Monday after he made on-air comments last Saturday which many felt were critical of immigrants for not wearing Remembrance Day poppies.

"You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that," Cherry said on Nov. 9. "These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price."

Segment co-host Ron MacLean said this week he intends to address the matter on Saturday. He apologized for last week's segment a day after it aired.

WATCH: Ron MacLean addresses Don Cherry's 'hurtful' remarks:

Cherry made comments on Hockey Night in Canada regarding new Toronto citizens not wearing poppies. 1:04

On Tuesday, Cherry told CBC News that he sees how he could have made his point differently.

"I think it was a mistake," he said of his remarks. "But I think the big thing was that I should have said 'everybody' — that was the big, big thing."

WATCH: Don Cherry says he regrets his choice of words:

Don Cherry speaks to CBC News after being fired for comments he made 3:05

Cherry added that his many good deeds — he mentioned helping Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi with the launch of his book on growing up with diabetes — were being overshadowed by his word choice.

"Not a word was said about that, but you used two words and that's where it goes," said Cherry.

Sportsnet is part of Rogers Media, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications, which is in the sixth year of a 12-year, $5.2-billion deal with the NHL. The agreement included a sub-licensing deal to allow the CBC to air Hockey Night in Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press

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