October 10, 2011
Every few months, there's a hysterical "this time he's gone TOO FAR!" outcry over something CBC curmudgeon Don Cherry blurts out on "Coach's Corner." This time, it was Cherry's rant last week about former hockey fighters who now question fighting's place in the game:
"But the ones that I am really disgusted with -- and I hate to say this when the kids are listening -- with Georges Laraque(notes) said about ... but the bunch of pukes that fought before: Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson. 'Oh, they reason that they're drinking drugs and alcoholic because they fight.' You turncoats. You hypocrites. It's one thing I'm not, it's a hypocrite.
"You guys ... you were fighters and now you don't want guys that make the same living you did."
Oh, this did not sit well with Nilan ("…to call me a hypocrite and a puke is totally uncalled for") and Grimson, who flatly denied ever asking for fighting to be taken out of the game via TSN's Off The Record:
"I challenge Don to point to the news article - or any other kind of journalism - where that comment is attributed to me," continued Grimson. "Nothing could be further from the truth. If you're going to say things like that on national television, show me the article where Chris (Nilan) or I said something like that. And if you can't prove that, let's hear an apology from Don...because that's pretty strong language, pretty offensive language. I'm awfully offended."
On Saturday's "Coach's Corner," Cherry and Ron MacLean tried to take the edge off of his comments by saying they were misunderstood. From Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe & Mail, did that "mulligan" work? Not so much:
Apparently, Grimson, Nilan and Thomson aren't feeling the love. The Globe has learned the trio will issue a news release Tuesday morning saying they don't accept any apologies issued on the popular HNIC segment. According to sources, the trio are furious that their names were used by the controversial broadcaster and that an issue they feel is vitally important was trivialized in Cherry's Thursday screed.
Sources tell The Gazette that the Tennessee law firm Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert will release a statement early Tuesday morning from former NHL players Chris Nilan, Jim Thomson and Stu Grimson indicating the players are not satisfied with Don Cherry's remarks Saturday night and making clear that they expect a full apology from the CBC commentator.
… The sources have not indicated what action the players might take, but it appears clear that they are threatening to sue Cherry and/or the CBC if Cherry does not issue a full apology.
The Gazette failed to disclose that Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert is the law firm where Grimson works.
So these guys seem fairly persistent, which makes you wonder: Will we hear or see a "full apology" from Don Cherry, on top of his backing off the "puke" comments last weekend?
We think there's a better chance he goes on the air wearing a monotone suit. For a fantastic summary of Cherry's latest controversy and why his initial comments were nonsensical, check out Stu Hackel's post.