He took a run at the retired players suing the NHL and appeared to channel Greta Garbo, unless it was simply a shot across the bow of his prospective new employers.
Either way, Don Cherry’s message is clear: I’d like to be left alone.
It’s not yet clear whether Cherry’s longstanding and wildly popular first intermission segment on Hockey Night in Canada will return when the National Hockey League’s new broadcast deal kicks in next season, but if it does Cherry doesn’t seem anxious to change the formula.
“I’m happy with the way things are. The big thing, I have a radio station (sic) on Rogers that’s been on for 25 years, Rogers never bothered me, why should it be, it was at number one. When I had Bobby Orr, he was the number one hockey player in the world, I just left him alone. And you know what? He had his best year ever.”
Cherry continued: “I know I’m good, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck, I know everybody watches. Don’t try and ruin a good thing, just leave us alone, and we’ll be just as good next year.
Multiple reports indicated television viewers experienced a brief interruption while Cherry discussed the new deal with Rogers as the audio and picture feeds appeared to flicker and then freeze for a couple of seconds during the broadcast.
When contacted a spokesperson from the CBC told the Globe and Mail the interruption was “Just a transmission blip...we don't edit Don Cherry.”
Cherry didn’t address NHL’s new megabucks broadcast deal with Rogers until the very end of his segment – during which he called a class action on the part of former players “a money grab, as far as I’m concerned.”
Even longtime sidekick Ron MacLean seemed anxious to hear the popular former Boston Bruins coach on what the future holds.
“Do I have to wait until the end of Coach’s Corner too?” he said at one point.
And now the rest of the Hockey Night in Canada public and Cherry devotees elsewhere will have to wait for the definitive word on what happens next.
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