Did Don Cherry ruin the NHL?

CBC Coach’s corner has been co-hosted by Don Cherry for many years now. For a coach that has never won a Stanley Cup suprisingly Don Cherry has had a big impact on the game of hockey today. From criticizing former players like Wayne Gretzky for not being aggressive enough to being corrected by Patrick Roy for mis-pronouncing Roy’s name on national television, the brightly dressed hockey commentator has not been a postive influence to hockey today. From his rock em sock em videos to favouring the tough guys of hockey over the skilled athletes Don Cherry has influenced a generation of hockey fans who want the big hits and fights over the finesse passing, playmaking and goal scoring. The result has caused many skilled players (especially from the province of Quebec) to be overlooked by teams for more brash physical players. Gone are the days of 60 and 70 plus goal scorers in exchange for players who rack up penalty minutes for fighting. Pressure has been put on players to drop the gloves and play aggressive rather than enjoy the game they grew up idolizing as a youth. As a result the injuries have increased substantially amongst players of the likes of Sidney Crosby to all types of players. When Howie Meeker appeared on Coach’s Corner (long before Don Cherry), he showed technical plays between periods and improved awareness of the skill factor that went into hockey. Too bad Don Cherry did not set as good an example.


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