Most of the reaction was in support of Hertl, or at the very least excused him based on his age. Others – and by others, we mean Adam Oates – felt he was disrespecting the NHL.
But there’s one opinion that hadn’t been shared yet; and when the subject is a European player showboating in the NHL … my gawd, THAT’S DON CHERRY’S MUSIC!!!
Grapes tackled Hertl on Saturday night’s Coach’s Corner, and it wasn’t the condemnation one might have expected.
Sure, he asked if Hertl had done that move against your son or father whether you’d see it differently, to which I’d answer, ‘No, I’d be too incredibly impressed that my father was a National Hockey League goaltender at 66 years old. Take that, Selanne!”
But he also excused Hertl’s behavior because, well, that’s just what those people do in the Czech League.
Here’s Cherry on Hertl:
"There’s been a lot said about a lot of things, but let me say something: If the score [had] been 1-1, I would have said 'Hey, what a goal!’ But I want you people out there to think about this: I want you think if Martin Biron was your son or your brother in an 8-2 [game], and everybody's laughing at him.
“How would you like it if it was your brother or your son or your dad or anything like that? To do that, and then laugh at him, and I look at it like that... and you know, I look at it like that, and if it was OK, then why did [coach Todd McLellan] keep him on the bench?
"I’m going to say something about the kid. He didn’t think he did anything wrong. He played in the Czech Republic last year. This is what they do. You can see him laughing at it. He didn't understand. And kids, you don't do that."
He then compared Hertl’s celebration to that of Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars this season, because apparently you can equivocate the actions of a player with 267 career games to a player with five of them.
"That's why I'm not really giving it to Hertl like I should, because he doesn’t know the difference.”
Thus ended the rhetorical equivalent of Don Cherry smacking a puppy on the nose with a rolled up newspaper.
Watch it here:
- Sports & Recreation