Don Cherry must apologize or could face lawsuit: sources

Accusing hockey’s best-known commentator of “a complete lack of decency,” three former NHL enforcers have raised the spectre of legal action against Don Cherry for controversial comments he made last week.

On Tuesday morning, the Nashville-based law firm Kay, Griffin, Enkema & Colbert released a statement saying former NHL players Chris Nilan, Jim Thomson and Stu Grimson are “considering further recourse” with regard to a rant Cherry made on Hockey Night in canada, calling these players “pukes,” “hypocrites” and “turncoats.”

It was because, according to Cherry, these players have recently said fighting should taken out of hockey.

While Thomson has made public statements saying clearly that fighting should be banned from the game, Grimson and Nilan have not.

The statement said some of the ex-players named have suffered from issues like drug or alcohol addiction and mental illness, which have become part of the larger debate surrounding fighting in hockey following the off-ice deaths of three players in recent months — Wade Belak, Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard.

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77 Responses to Don Cherry must apologize or could face lawsuit: sources

  1. leafy says:

    This one is vintage Cherry commentary. Bob Probert punching the goalie.

  2. mojo19 says:

    The new generation is soft, leafy. They want the whole world to just hold hands and cuddle.

  3. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    I got to see this video of Cherry ranting and raving like a lunatic on youtube – being in the US you don't get to see Coaches Corner….

    First off – Don's right, fighting DOES belong in the game…
    Second Off – The Anti-fighting groups are right as well that fighting doesn't belong in the game.
    Staged fights in Hockey are ridiculous, if you wanted to watch two guys fight in a staged fight then by all means WWE is on Monday and Thursday.
    If you want to see two hockey players lose it in the heat of the moment and fight (Clark Gillies, Wendel Clark, Bob Probert, Marty McSorley, Dave Semenko, Dale Hunter to name a few) from guys who could play more than 3 minutes a game you watch hockey.
    Just a quick question for everyone here- am I the only guy who loved watching the Olympics? Guess what the olympics had…no touch icing, hitting and no fighting?
    What about the Stanley Cup Playoffs? You don't see meatheads out taking liberties and staging fights in the playoffs? In fact the last fight I can remember happening in a Stanley Cup final was Malkin fighting Zetterberg  three years ago? And notice i said Malkin and Zetterberg not  "Ivanis vs. Troy Crowder"….heat of the moment fights are still apart of the game and should be there but the staged crap of two "heavyweights" going to try and get their team back in the game is horsecrap.
    The game would be fine without fighting…but it does have it's place and it does make it a better game all around, but none of this goon thuggery crap anymore.
  4. TheOnlyIslesFan says:

    I also would like to point out that Don Cherry is a HUGE hypocrite – I've seen him slag on Ovechkin for being a showboat and a hot dog – 30 years screaming at a camera in the CBC studio wearing the most ridiculous suits isn't hotdogging?

    If it hadn't been for Harry Sinden giving Cherry a chance to coach a team most GOOD coaches (like Al Arbour, Scotty Bowman) would have won Cups with we wouldn't even talk about Don Cherry.
  5. mojo19 says:

    Ironically, Cherry's rock 'em sock 'em video's helped make these guys way more popular during their careers. Now they're (potentially) suing him.

  6. mojo19 says:

    How epic was Lecavalier vs Iginla in the cup final? Star players fighting in the playoffs is the best.

  7. leafy says:

    Not sure if you know, Al Arbour and Don Cherry have been buddies for about 50 years. They were teammates in Rochester from 1962 to 1965.

  8. Leafs_Wallace says:

    This topic is about as sexy as high school essay on Ethics. What side of the debate do you fall on? Who cares… I never thought I'd long for the talking heads to get back to just selling me beer.  Stu Grimson would be making mininum wage somewhere and getting in bar fights if it weren't for hockey fights but then again I could care less if I ever see Jay Rosehill suit up for another game. Sports writers feel they need to do something with their wasted educations and can't accept that their role in society as infantalized geeks, so this topic is their pet activism, either take fighting out of the game or not, just spare the audience the endless spinning of the tires on this pseudo discourse and canned judgements. 

  9. leafy says:

    Yeah that is ironic. I'm curious who their lawyer is. Probably someone like the Jackie Childs character on Seinfeld.

    He probably said Cherry's conduct was "lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous!"

  10. Leafs_Wallace says:

    And although I hate Roenick good on him for demanding Crosby not be asked the same question every day and suggest the novel idea of actually talking about the Penguins. It's as if producers deliberately invest themselves in not marketing their own product. 

  11. mapleleafsfan says:

    Nailed it.

  12. JoelLeafs says:

    Sex without a condom? Your star player has no protection…

  13. JoelLeafs says:

    You're very right. In Canada, expression is not a right, but a freedom granted by the Gov't. They can that freedom in certain cir*****stances, such as hate crimes. 

    What Cherry did was very mild. If you take into account the cir*****stances (media figure attacking former media figure, Don's NHL past, the nature of HNIC, etc) it's even more so. Canada would have nothing to do with this potential suit (or, at least, it wouldn't go far). There has also been a bit of a receeding in the tide of frivolous lawsuits in the US. Nothing will likely come of this.
    Although I don't know how much I'd agree with it. it would be funny to see the CBC force Cherry into a no nonsense apology. 
    Final note: have you listened to the interviews with these goons? Go after Don, okay, I get it. Go after the CBC, okay, I get it (money has to come from somewhere). But Ron MacLean? really? Who attacks Ron? He's nothing but class and professionalism. Not his fault he's been babysitting an ape on the air for 25 years. 
  14. JoelLeafs says:

    Want a good laugh? Go to and search through the video section for the interviews on the radio with Nilan and Lansberg with Grimson. Listening to these guys talk is hilarious. Just shows how dumb the whole thing is. I think it was Lansberg that said something like this: "why not settle this with words, like men, instead of running off to the courts and dragging this all out?"

    This is mostly a joke, but it does pis s me off a bit to hear them bashing Ron MacLean. Can anyone think of a more professional, classy, nice person in Canadian broadcasting than Ron? The interviewers give it to em both pretty good; you can tell the media hates what these guys are threatening to do (and doing, for that matter). 
    …this is what happens when the leafs take a week off…
  15. JoelLeafs says:

    Ha ha ha, that's brutal. 

    And social commentary aside (there will always be an 'older' generation and according to them the 'old' ways will always be the best, the same will be true of us when we're all Cherry's age), I don't think enough attention is being paid to where this suit is being levied: Not Canada.
    Why not sue in London? Why not China? Why not anywhere else in the world? The only place this should be dealt with is Canada, specifically, Ontario (where the broadcast originated). This type of jurisdiction kiting is complete nonsense and only meant to take advantage of weaker (or stronger, depending on the scenario) courts. 
    In every media statement I've yet heard from him on this issue, Nilan constantly says that he;'s not running, that he's standing up, that he won't back down, that he'll… blah blah blah, hockey fight idioms. Why not grow a pair and stand up to Cherry where he is, where the comments were uttered, and where they were broadcast from. 
    If you challenge me for a fight in Toronto, but wait in a rink in Phoenix, it isn't standing up for yourself. 
  16. JoelLeafs says:

    Ha ha ha, nice 1.

  17. mapleleafsfan says:


    Haha kidding, Ron Maclean is great. That picture just seems so uncharacteristic it's awesome. 
  18. mojo19 says:

    The part that scares me is that the longer they keep talking about taking fighting out, the more people keep switching sides. Or possibly the non-fighting group is just getting louder and more vocal, and with more and more head injuries, coupled with the unfortunate deaths of 3 NHL tough guys in one offseason is giving this annoying group more of an oppurtunity to b it ch.

  19. mojo19 says:

    agree 100% Did you see Crosby answering questions after practice yesterday? He was straight up annoyed and didn't have patience for the same old questions. You don't usually see Sid get short with reporters, but keep asking this kid the same question everyday, while he's already frustrated himself about the situation, I mean he wants to play, and what do you expect? He's gonna get a bit pissy.

    Anyways, I'm really hoping Sid makes a comeback soon, and I hope Malkin is healthy too. I've never cheered for the Penguins in my life but I'm sick of these superstars being hurt.

  20. JoelLeafs says:

    Ha ha ha… nice. No way that's real, IMO, but funny none the less.

  21. Leafs_Wallace says:

    I'm not really scared because I'm watching hockey either way, I could take or leave it.  Fights will be in game regardless in one form or another for another generation.  The only thing I can see them doing is taking it out of the CHL which the CHL won't do because if your local junior team isn't a contender or have a star player then fighting is the only draw they have left.

    That aside, it's the discussion that needs not end but let's visit it maybe once a year, if that, until the NHLPA, the GMs or owner actually want to do something one way or another talk about the actual games, teams and players. No one really cares and no one has anything new to say.

  22. leafy says:

    That's it. Now that's a good analogy.

  23. mojo19 says:

    ya good call.

  24. leafy says:

    Completely agree Joel. They have no case whatsoever and the suit wouldn't get far.

    And for them to be blaming Ron just shows they're emotional right now. Not thinking straight.

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