Blake’s Takes: Don Cherry is Fired!

This week, I’ll dive into the firing of Don Cherry and why its a good thing for hockey. I’ll also give my take on a trade most people haven’t heard about and a hot start you should know about.

1. Don Cherry Fired by Sportsnet

For over 30 years, Don Cherry has dominated TV screens in Canada with his Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada. That run officially ended on Monday as Cherry was fired from Sportsnet for his remarks criticizing immigrants that did not wear a poppy pin intended to honor fallen Canadian soldiers.

Here are Cherry’s comments:

Sportsnet released the following statement announcing Cherry’s departure:

As a young, American viewer, I was getting sick of Cherry. Yes, he was a great entertainer that did a lot for hockey. But his act grew old and tired. Regardless of all that, his comments were despicable. I’m glad to see Sportsnet agreed and did away with him the way they should have years ago. It’s refreshing to see a network take social issues seriously. Even if Sportsnet only fired him due to the backlash, it’s better that doing nothing.

Canada and the NHL have both made major strides in becoming more socially progressive, and this decision benefits both. Cherry is the epitome of the “Old Man Yells at Cloud” meme and I certainly didn’t find it entertaining anymore. I’m sure whoever Sportsnet finds to replace Cherry will be a welcome addition to the booth.

Also, let’s be honest, Cherry’s suits were always terrible.

2. Fabbri Traded to the Red Wings

Last week, the defending champion St. Louis Blues and the bottom-dwelling Detroit Red Wings completed a trade. The Blues dealt forward Robby Fabbri for Wings’ forward Jacob de la Rose. The one for one swap didn’t attract that much fanfare but could be one of importance for both clubs.

For St. Louis, it hurts to lose Fabbri. But, the former first-round pick just couldn’t find a spot in the lineup. Fabbri was averaging a career-low 9:42 TOI. Fabbri always had a ton of potential, especially after scoring 37 points as a rookie. Still, he will always have a Stanley Cup ring to show for his time in St. Louis. The Blues needed a player a bit more comfortable in a depth role that could kill penalties. de la Rose is that, and that’s about all he is. St. Louis should get what they need out of this trade.

For the Wings, this is another attempt by general manager Steve Yzerman buying low on a former first-round pick. Fabbri no doubt has untapped potential. And if the Red Wings can tap it, they will have acquired a potential top-six forward for a bottom-six forward. That makes a good trade. Fabbri has already made his presence felt in Detroit, scoring two goals, including the game-winner in his first game with the squad.

Detroit gets more upside out of this trade. St. Louis is a team that’s competing this year and made a move to help them do that. The Wings made a move they needed to make to help them compete in the future. This trade makes perfect sense for both sides. Still, if Fabbri develops into half the player he can be, Detroit wins the trade.

3. Coyotes GM John Chayka Nets Extension

On Monday, the Arizona Coyotes announced that they agreed to an extension with their general manager John Chayka. His deal was slated to expire in 2021, but his new deal is expected to add a few additional years to that, though the terms were not disclosed. The 30-year-old Chayka was the youngest general manager in the history of the NHL, having been hired at 26-years-old (two years older than I am now).

This is a big mandate from new owner Alex Meruelo. Most times, new owners or executives take some time to evaluate coaches and front office members. Frequently, they opt to go in a different direction. Meruelo is clearly happy with the direction of the franchise and wanted to show he believes in Chayka.

This is a fantastic decision by the Coyotes. Chayka has done a great job as the team’s general manager. The team just missed the playoffs last year despite having the most man-games lost due to injury. He also acquired Phil Kessel in the offseason and has built a strong core of young players. Maybe Chayka will finally bring a Stanley Cup to the desert.

4. Nick Foligno Suspended 3 Games

The league announced today that they have suspended Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno three games for elbowing Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. The hit occurred during the second period. You can see Foligno raise his elbow just as Bellemare is skating past him.

Foligno has to be better than this. He’s too good to be missing games for stupid penalties like this. Especially ones where there is little be gained. It’s not like he was avenging an injured teammate or retaliating. There just wasn’t a purpose for this hit. That’s why it was stupid.

5. Whose Hot Right Now?

J.T. Miller is scorching. After the Canucks traded for him in the offseason, I ripped the team for making an unnecessary trade. The Canucks don’t have a ton of flexibility and trading for a slightly above-average player like Miller didn’t seem like a great idea. Well, Miller has exceeded all expectations so far this year. Miller is 14th in the league in points with 19 (8 goals, 11 assists) in 14 games.

Many will argue that he’s playing so well because of the talent around him. But, let’s not forget he played on one of the best regular-season teams of all time last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning. If Miller can keep this up, Vancouver could be a very good team this season. ■

Blake Isaacs is a die-hard Red Wings fan that doesn’t go to as many games as he should. He is also a big fan of 7-Eleven Slurpeees, Chipotle, and all things Michigan State. Follow him on Twitter @bisaacs1995.

6 thoughts on “Blake’s Takes: Don Cherry is Fired!”

  1. My advice to you bud “as a young American viewer” is to butt out of our affairs because you don’t know the context of what your talking about or have any appreciation for the situation or the country as a whole outside of agreeing with everyone and their brother in the media who has commented about this since Saturday. You talk about being socially progressive and inclusive and it’s a good thing. By that logic, wouldn’t you say that all points of view are important within hockey….even Don’s? Is is inclusiveness and social progressiveness only valuable when they match groupthink? And wouldn’t freedom of speech and supporting people’s rights be socially progressive? Or is that again only something that is important when it is done for certain groups of people? Not that I am saying that would be racist if that were the case, but I find it interesting that someone who uses the written word as a profession or even a hobby here on Puck Junk would be against the principles of freedom of speech.

    You speak about the NHL becoming more socially progressive and supportive of diversity – oh like those french folks in Quebec City who want a team, but keep getting passed over for one, while those teams in the US markets where hockey struggles and is a novelty for when Football, Basketball and Baseball is not happening, still are allowed franchises by this league? Or the fact that they have a commissioner who knew nothing about the sport when taking the top job over, won’t retire and is booed by fans anytime one is around him (maybe I am wrong on this point because booing him has become the only thing where fans of all stripes seem to agree).
    Or what about Sportsnet? You probably don’t see this as you are an American viewer – but during games, you’d notice how they have this logo at the bottom of the telecast. Oh right it is Huawei’s. The same company that is state owned by a regime that is not only oppressive, but has one of, if not the worst human rights records on the planet.
    But hey, his “suit’s are terrible”. Nice kick in the groin while the man is down. Is that something that is “socially progressive”?

    But don’t take my word for it as a young, Canadian, longtime viewer. Have a read at someone who fits this “diversity” narrative that is tossed around and take their words for it: https://www.thepostmillennial.com/a-response-to-don-cherrys-firing-from-a-daughter-of-immigrants/?fbclid=IwAR1Z6d6KJRUN2C610p4wMI7Uxx392zkY6Bb5ajXYHWaFVmEV5X3i_leLitE

    In closing here is some free advice – if his act grew tiring for you, there is this cool thing in democracy called changing the channel. It used to be what people did when they didn’t agree with something – not read a bunch of BS articles from whiners (who all got a big cheque last year from the government coincidentally – a government which I would say has a different political philosophy leaning to Don Cherry) about an issue in a different country as you and then shoot your mouth off on a blog.

    1. It was time for Don Cherry to step down. Changing the channel is not needed anymore. If you want to listen to his chatter, he has a podcast.
      I stopped watching Coaches Corner 2 years ago. Yes, I was a fan and disagreed with many things that Don would say but enjoyed many other points of view.
      My advice to you bud is it is just his opinion.

    2. AJ, because I’m a thoughtful “young American viewer” who you believe is incapable of forming his own opinions, I’ll be happy to respond to each of your points while being as objective as possible. Let’s start at the top!

      ———————————————————————————-
      “My advice to you bud “as a young American viewer” is to butt out of our affairs because you don’t know the context of what your talking about or have any appreciation for the situation or the country as a whole outside of agreeing with everyone and their brother in the media who has commented about this since Saturday.”
      ———————————————————————————-

      First, this is called a run-on sentence. I was out of breath when I finished reading it.

      Second, just because someone doesn’t live in your country doesn’t mean they’re not qualified to comment on social issues that are not exclusive to that location. People that share Cherry’s overarching beliefs live everyone, not just in Canada.

      Third, just because I agree with the media doesn’t mean I’m only regurgitating their opinions. In this case, I happen to agree with them. If I had heard the last 15 inflammatory things Cherry had said, I’m sure I would have called for his resignation then.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “You talk about being socially progressive and inclusive and it’s a good thing. By that logic, wouldn’t you say that all points of view are important within hockey….even Don’s? Is is inclusiveness and social progressiveness only valuable when they match groupthink?”
      ———————————————————————————-

      All points of view are not good, especially if they are exclusionary and harmful to others. Hockey is a sport. Sports are meant to be a hobby and/or entertainment. They’re a great way to help us (fans) get our minds off work/school/etc. Hockey and the NHL do not affect our school systems, economy (for the most part), politics. Politics is a place where all viewpoints may be welcomed. Cherry’s views are harmful to Canadians and fellow hockey fans. Check out the article below if you can find the free version.

      https://theathletic.com/1369550/2019/11/11/basu-don-cherry-was-always-a-problem-why-it-took-canada-so-long-to-see-it/

      Inclusiveness and social progression should always be valued. Just because they happen to match groupthink doesn’t mean they’re incorrect.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “And wouldn’t freedom of speech and supporting people’s rights be socially progressive? Or is that again only something that is important when it is done for certain groups of people? Not that I am saying that would be racist if that were the case, but I find it interesting that someone who uses the written word as a profession or even a hobby here on Puck Junk would be against the principles of freedom of speech.”
      ———————————————————————————-

      Supporting peoples’s rights is progressive. But again, this is not a political science class or a political discussion. Cherry is an employee paid to talk about a sport. Freedom of speech is important to protect but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences if you say something stupid or harmful. Just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should. And Cherry had no business saying what he said when and where he said it. Let’s remember, he didn’t say this in his home or at the grocery store, he said it while at his job where is a broadcaster on a major network. One that is paid to talk about hockey. He had no business saying that at his place of work. If I said that at my job, I would be fired.

      Freedom of speech is important, but the common good and safety of the people are much more important.
      ———————————————————————————-
      “You speak about the NHL becoming more socially progressive and supportive of diversity – oh like those french folks in Quebec City who want a team, but keep getting passed over for one, while those teams in the US markets where hockey struggles and is a novelty for when Football, Basketball and Baseball is not happening, still are allowed franchises by this league?”
      ———————————————————————————-

      This is the epitome of “old man yells at cloud.” You’re just upset that your ideal Canadian values (I’m assuming here) have been put in jeopardy. The NHL is in the business of making money. That’s it. Everything they do is to protect their bottom line. So, if they want to put teams in “struggling” hockey markets, it’s for the money. It may suck, but that’s showbiz baby. Also, this has zero to do with my article.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “Or the fact that they have a commissioner who knew nothing about the sport when taking the top job over, won’t retire and is booed by fans anytime one is around him (maybe I am wrong on this point because booing him has become the only thing where fans of all stripes seem to agree).”
      ———————————————————————————-

      Bettman probably makes like $10 million a year. Yea, if I were him, I don’t care if they follow me to my house and boo, I’m cashing those checks.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “Or what about Sportsnet? You probably don’t see this as you are an American viewer – but during games, you’d notice how they have this logo at the bottom of the telecast. Oh right it is Huawei’s. The same company that is state owned by a regime that is not only oppressive, but has one of, if not the worst human rights records on the planet.”
      ———————————————————————————-

      So a company that has a bad track record with human rights made a progressive decision? That sounds like a good thing to me.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “But hey, his “suit’s are terrible”. Nice kick in the groin while the man is down. Is that something that is “socially progressive”?”
      ———————————————————————————-

      Thank you. I thought it was funny. Commenting on someone’s terrible fashion sense has nothing to do with being progressive. It may make me an asshole, but it has nothing to do with being progressive. Also, Cherry is probably rich as hell, so he could care less about what some 24-year-old American blogger thinks about his suits.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “But don’t take my word for it as a young, Canadian, longtime viewer. Have a read at someone who fits this “diversity” narrative that is tossed around and take their words for it:

      https://www.thepostmillennial.com/a-response-to-don-cherrys-firing-from-a-daughter-of-immigrants/?fbclid=IwAR1Z6d6KJRUN2C610p4wMI7Uxx392zkY6Bb5ajXYHWaFVmEV5X3i_leLitE

      ———————————————————————————-

      Similar to the article I shared with you, everyone identifies as something different. And they are no better or no worse for it. Everyone experiences life differently which shapes their perspective which can shape their identity. Just because one writer shares your opinion, doesn’t mean everyone like them will. And at the end of the day, what Cherry said still hurt people. And I and most North Americans are more concerned with the opinions of people that feel disenfranchised than those who don’t. But way to cherry-pick an article that fits your POV.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “In closing here is some free advice – if his act grew tiring for you, there is this cool thing in democracy called changing the channel.”
      ———————————————————————————-

      1. I love free stuff.
      2. I don’t watch Cherry.
      3. Democracy has nothing to do with changing the channel. Freedom allows me the opportunity to not consume propaganda. I think that’s what you were looking for. Democracy is a type of government.

      ———————————————————————————-
      “It used to be what people did when they didn’t agree with something – not read a bunch of BS articles from whiners (who all got a big cheque last year from the government coincidentally – a government which I would say has a different political philosophy leaning to Don Cherry) about an issue in a different country as you and then shoot your mouth off on a blog.”
      ———————————————————————————-

      I think it’s better to face problems head-on than to ignore them. So it’s probably a good idea not to change the channel.

      I didn’t need to read any articles to write this article, I only need to watch the footage which allowed me to form my own opinion. Also, getting a check from the government does not make someone less patriotic or less Canadian. I think that’s what you were trying to get at. Also, I would argue those who are critical of their country are far more patriotic and add that much more value to their country than those who blindly support it and its political decisions.

      Even from my POV, it’s pretty obvious Canada’s government shares a different perspective than Cherry. And that’s definitely a good thing. Also, perhaps my most important point. Canada does have a democracy. And if their government and elected officials lean to one side, that means that the country does too. Because THAT is a democracy. So, if Canada’s government has a different political philosophy than Don Cherry, then a majority of their citizens do too.

      The backlash on Cherry wasn’t low-blow. It wasn’t a bunch of snowflake-liberals getting overly upset. This was the majority of the country’s reaction when a tired, old, racist white man said exclusionary and harmful remarks aimed at loyal Canadian citizens. I don’t have to live in Canada to see that.

      But, I’m happy to shoot my mouth off any time! And thanks for reading!

      🙂

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