The CBC confirmed a new contract extension for Hockey Night In Canada co-host Don Cherry on Saturday night.
Kirstine Stewart, new vice president of English services made the announcement in Calgary ahead of Sunday's Heritage Classic outdoor game.
Canada's public broadcaster confirmed that the 77-year-old Hockey Night In Canada analyst will stay with the CBC through the 2011-2012 season.
"We're delighted to announce that the venerable hockey icon Don Cherry has signed on for another season and will continue to provide hockey's liveliest and sometimes provocative commentary," said Stewart. "Don has been a part of the CBC Hockey Night in Canada family since 1980, generating passion and debate among hockey fans everywhere. Hockey Night in Canada, with Don at the desk for its 59th season, will continue to bring the very best of hockey programming on all of its platforms to Canadians everywhere."
There had been speculation that the controversial Cherry would leave the broadcaster when his contract ended. But Saturday's announcement would mean that, health permitting, Cherry should be with the network until it attempts to renew the NHL broadcast contract beginning in the fall of 2013.
"We join millions of fans in congratulating Don on his new contract and wishing him continued success as the declarative voice of CBC's definitive hockey broadcast," said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. "Don's knowledge of the sport is exceeded only by his love for it and we are proud of his enduring connection with the game and the National Hockey League."
Cherry joined Hockey Night In Canada in 1980 following his NHL coaching career with Boston and Colorado. In 1981 Cherry began Coach's Corner, the first intermission feature that mad him a household name in Canada. Cherry was voted one of the Top Ten greatest Canadians in a CBC poll in 2004.
With a report from Canadian Press
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