FanDuel - WFBC

December 14, 2009

Neurosurgeon: Don Cherry is Hurting Hockey: CBC television commentator Don Cherry has become a negative influence on the sport of hockey by promoting violence, a neurosurgeon claimed in today's Toronto Star. "We've been too gentle with him over the years. We've allowed him to change the culture of hockey," said Dr. Charles Tator, who claims he sees hockey players as patients every week. "One mother this week told me that she felt that because her son is such a talented player, there is a bounty on his head. We have to get rid of head-hunting."

posted by rcade to hockey at 12:27 PM - 9 comments

This is a change in the culture of hockey?

posted by tron7 at 12:31 PM on December 14

I dont think Don promotes violent play, His choice of clothing does it for him, Nothing gets my blood boiling like a Grow man on TV doing a sports report looking like he just left his other gig as a circus clown. At least he takes off the big red nose.

posted by Debo270 at 12:47 PM on December 14

Nothing gets my blood boiling like a Grow man on TV doing a sports report looking like he just left his other gig as a circus clown

Don Cherry has nothing on Craig Sager.

posted by BornIcon at 12:57 PM on December 14

Horseshit. I don't think anyone talks as much as Cherry does about the STOP signs on the back of youth jerseys (and that he think might need to be on NHL jerseys), no-touch icing and the ridiculous amount of body armour players wear that allows them to feel as if they can't be hurt.

People seem to be unable to separate the idea of violent play from dirty play. Cherry's all for trainwrecking a guy who's head is down, for flattening guys in front of the net and a fight between goons to clear the air in a chippy game. Those are all legitimate parts of hockey and not illegal. They are violent, but what the hell do people expect from a game where men are skating around at 30 mph and carrying large sticks?

You want non-contact? Go play tennis.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:01 PM on December 14

Fraz,

I couldnt agree with you more. There is a huge difference between tough play and dirty play. I am all for the fact that you better keep you head on a swivel when you are on the ice, But the hits from behind, the knee on knee, the taking a run from blue line to blue line at someone(all Ovechkin, Sean Avery, Yarko Ruutu moves), that is the stuff that needs to end. Those are teh things that end careers.

posted by Debo270 at 01:35 PM on December 14

Does anyone have the stats on the number of kids getting injured every season? And the degree of severity? Are kids sustaining injuries that could have serious health repercussions later in life?

posted by irunfromclones at 03:14 PM on December 14

The guy's message is sure inconsistent. While the article headline and the initial message given is that Cherry advocates violence, when it gets right down to it, Tator is really saying that Cherry is guilty of a sin of omission. And that is indeed horseshit.

Cherry has always championed hard nosed, tough hockey, and he has always spoken out against dirty play. Hockey, when played correctly, is a game of controlled violence, and Cherry has never failed to stress the control aspect of it. What he has failed to do, in Tator's opinion, is spearhead an awareness campaign against hits to the head. The two concepts are radically different. Scapegoating him because he fails to preach to your cause is crap.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:15 PM on December 14

After the latest NHL lock out the "rules" were changed. I notice a big shift in how youth hockey was officiated. There was a focus on hits to the head; it took the kids a little while to understand the "new" rules & they adapted. @ That time I had a Midget & Mite playing. Now my midget has "retired" & my mite is a First year Pee Wee, which is the 1st year of checking here in the states. I am appalled at the lack of protection afforded to the youngster's heads! I too love tough physical hockey, but as I sit & watch 3 to 4 games a week I just don't see the emphasis on blows to the head that I saw just a few short years ago. This is very easy to fix. Anything to the head is a 2 minute minor, get 3 in a game & you get a game misconduct. Singling out Don Cherry is easy, but miss-placed.

posted by directpressure at 03:58 PM on December 14

This guy is wrong. Cherry is not an advocate for hits to the head and his influence is grossly exaggerated. People like him, but no one really listens to him when it comes to the game anymore.

Though he's been right about the instigator rule for forever.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:11 PM on December 14

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