Shortly after the NHL announced their billion-dollar deal with Rogers, which gave the company editorial control over CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, many began to wonder what it meant for Don Cherry and his popular Coach's Corner segments.
When asked directly, Cherry was his usual candid self.
“I have no idea what’s going on," he said. Then he turned the question around. “So I’m asking you guys — do I have a job?”
That remains to be seen. But Cherry has never been one to exercise a wait-and-see approach before weighing in, and on Saturday's edition of Coach's Corner, his first since the deal came down, he had his say. Wearing a surprisingly low-key ensemble, a proud, confident Cherry basically submitted his résumé to his new bosses during the telecast.
And it was pretty great. Cherry's comments on the deal begin at about the 5:00 mark:
Here's the whole quote, for the video-impaired, and because you really need to take a second look at it to appreciate it:
"The big thing: I have a radio station on Rogers that's been on for 25 years. Rogers never bothered me. Why should it be? It was a 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.
[…] if you're number one, why would you fool with it? I know I'm good. I didn't fall off a turnip truck. I know everybody watches, so all I'm saying is... take it easy, don't try to ruin a good thing, just leave us alone and we'll be just as good next year.
A lot of people at CBC will be losing their jobs, but I think it would be a pretty big surprise if Cherry was among them.
Especially now. Do we really want to lose a guy that has the sack to tell his new bosses, live and on the air, to leave him alone because he's Bobby Orr? I think not.