Longtime broadcaster Don Cherry has had a lot to say lately on the subject of fighting in the NHL. On a recent coaches corner, Cherry decried the idea of stars fighting instead of stars being protected and Saturday Cherry had even more to say on the topic.
Saturday Cherry went on to discuss the fight between the Nashville Predators Shea Weber and the Avalanches’ Gabriel Landeskog. In the fight Weber was coming to the defense of his teammate, and Cherry didn’t like that.
“[Shea] Weber is the all-star of that team. He has has to go in and straighten things out because the nerds don’t want fighting,” Cherry said.”Tough guys never picked on the stars. They protected them”
“There’s no payback”
Cherry also seems to have a big problem with the instigator rule,
“They got the instigator rule in there. And now we have open season on the stars. The people pay to see the stars, but they listened to nerds.”
Cherry does make a point when he suggests that players fear payback less now than they did before. But what we can’t figure out is, who are the nerds? Cherry twice suggests some nerds somewhere are responsible for less fighting in hockey, but he never says who the nerds are. Are the nerds players suing over concussions? Are the nerds GMs that declare the enforcer “dead”? He also seems to be letting the players who create these situations off the hook because instead of declaring their actions wrong he wants to talk about retaliation.
Somebody needs to tell Cherry that the game, and sports in general, are changing and that he needs to catch up. Also maybe if we stopped coddling the “star players” and let them be hockey players, this would be a moot point.