Ex-NHL brawlers threaten ‘further recourse’ against Don Cherry

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On Monday night, we told you that former NHL tough guys Chris Nilan, Stu Grimson and Jim Thomson were set to release a joint statement condemning CBC bloviator Don Cherry's comments about them on Oct. 6, in which he called them "hypocrites" and "pukes" while alleging they want fighting out of the League.

From the law offices of Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert — where Grimson practices law — here is that statement:

"During CBC's broadcast of Coach's Corner on October 6, 2011, Don Cherry inserted himself into a prominent debate involving the recent tragic deaths of three (3) NHL players, drug addiction, alcohol abuse and mental illness. In doing so, Mr. Cherry targeted the above-named individuals, some of whom have suffered from such diseases, as a result of views they previously expressed.

"Mr. Cherry's comments were more than inappropriate; they were baseless and slanderous. Furthermore, Mr. Cherry's subsequent attempt to qualify his comments on October 8, 2011, was entirely ineffectual. Mr. Cherry's conduct throughout has demonstrated a complete lack of decency. In light of the damaging and inflammatory nature of Mr. Cherry's comments, Messrs. Grimson, Nilan and Thomson are considering further recourse."

Here's the video from Coach's Corner that produced the firestorm:

Grimson in particular was offended by Cherry's comments, having recently had an interview with Grantland in which he passionately defended his chosen path to the NHL and treated fighting — and its consequences — with reverence. He's also talked in the past about the Code for fighters and the right way to go about dropping the mitts.

What do you expect Cherry's response to be? The fact that CBC backed away from his comments might signal that they'll be more proactive in twisting his arm for a formal apology. Or it might signal that they know Cherry's not backing off his comments any more than he has.

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