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article imageOp-Ed: Oops, he's done it again, Don Cherry calls NHL fighters 'pukes'

By Carolyn E. Price     Oct 7, 2011 in Sports
Don Cherry, former NHL player, coach and current on-air personality from Hockey Night in Canada's Coaches Corner, appears to have once again proverbially put his foot in his mouth by calling out three ex-NHLers by name and allegedly calling them "pukes."
As usual, the bash-Cherry trolls have crawled out from under their sewage filled compost heaps or, if you prefer, slithered out like environmentally friendly troglobite flatworms from the caves where they reside, and are screaming in unison for the CBC to remove him from the public airwaves.
However, they have, as usual, 'cherry'-picked a word or statement made by the bombastic broadcaster and are lambasting him, perhaps in some ways justifiably so, for that.
Last night was the opening night of the 2011-2012 NHL hockey season. Don Cherry kicked it off in his usual flamboyant style on his show that is aired on the Canadian taxpayer subsidized public broadcaster, CBC. If you saw Cherry's performance on Coaches Corner, or just watched the video replay, you might get a completely different picture than the one currently being portrayed in the media by those hockey-as-a-contact-sport-hating people.
Don MacLean was doing his usual feed into the next subject with Cherry by referring to "our sadness this summer" in regard to the Russian hockey teams plane crash that killed 43 players, coaches and airplane crew, and to the suicides of 3 current and former NHLers who were all cut from the same tough-guy, fighters mould.
Let's face it, these three guys who died (Belak, Boogard and Rypien) are what you'd call Don's 'crew.' Cherry's living was made, and to some extent is still being made, by fighting. Cherry is a loyal and passionate man, perhaps even sometimes to a fault. He has a huge heart and often wears it on his sleeve which can more often than not, land him in hot water.
If you watch the video, you'll see that before he the infamous 'puke' comment, Cherry made a number of salient points and comments which included:
-saying that he believes those who "took advantage" of the 3 so-called tough guys suicides and used them as an excuse to get up on their anti-fighting soap box should be "ashamed of yourselves" for doing something like that.
-pointed out that prior to this years deaths, since 1999 there had been 8 suicides of NHL or former NHL players, none of whom were fighters and he also said that during the years he himself played, there were 4 suicides, again no fighters.
Cherry then even sort of in his own endearing way, almost apologized in advance to "the kids" who were watching for saying what he was about to say about the three named NHL former fighters, i.e., "the pukes." Cherry was actually incorporating the word puke that former-NHLer Georges Laraque had used when describing what it made him feel like doing when he heard people slamming fighting in hockey.
So while I may understand where Don Cherry is coming from and why he said what he said, I disagree with him for specifically naming the three ex-NHLers. I think it would have been sufficient for him to say his usual "you'se guys, and you know who you are" and be done with it. 
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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