Watching Coach’s Corner last night during the Leafs-Habs game was certainly interesting. What it featured was Don Cherry going bananas and complaining about the new “soft” NHL because players are actually slowing up and not hitting each other dangerously. Then he goes on to rip on Brendan Shanahan for giving a heavy suspension to Jody Shelley too early in his tenure as league disciplinarian. Check out the video below:
What is Cherry thinking? I mean finally it seems that players are starting to learn that hitting players from behind or with a blindsided hit is WRONG. It seems that players are finally learning that hitting people in the head can cause SERIOUS INJURY.
Why is he complaining? Maybe players need to learn how to perform CLEAN hits. I’m sorry Don, but Scott Stevens played in a different era, one where there wasn’t as much coverage about head trauma.
Don, when you make comments like this you are not just making yourself look bad, but you are also making the NHL and its passionate fans look bad. You are setting us back 10 years or more… back to when it was considered “tough” and “effective” to go head-hunting and knock players out with a concussion (e.g., Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros and Paul Kariya). Really sad to hear you say about Stevens “enjoy this folks because you’re never ever gonna see it again.” You know what I say about that, Don? GOOD, we don’t need to see those hits ever again. We don’t need more players getting hurt. We don’t need to see the stars of the game, like Sidney Crosby, get hurt.
Fighting is one thing, blind-sided and cheap hits are another thing. Fighting has been a big part of the sport for years. At least with fighting both combatants are aware that there is a fight and can choose to participate or not. But blind-sided and cheap hits don’t afford the victim that luxury. The victim gets hit without any warning.
Even more puzzling about Cherry’s recent rant on the “soft” NHL is what he said previously about head-shots and suspensions. Check out that video below:
So which side are you on, Don? You want to clean up the head-shots and make the game safer. Yet you are now criticizing the NHL for actually doing something about it. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. It will take time for the players to adjust and start feeling comfortable about throwing bigger hits. It will take time for them to learn what is a legal and illegal hit nowadays.
I for one am a supporter of what Shanahan is doing. He is taking a hard stance on head-shots, which the NHL has been dragging their feet on for far too long. Shanny is going one step further and is trying to educate the players and the public by putting up timely and informative videos about his rulings, and about how players are starting to adjust their hitting.
Keep it up Shanny, because as Cherry has said before “What happens if someone does it to Crosby?”… well we are already there. The answer Don, is that suspensions get heavier and players are forced to re-learn respect on the ice.
What do you think about Cherry’s comments? Sound off in the comments section below!
and Facebook - Blades of Teal