There was a nice little press release put out by the CBC today as they announced that Don Cherry will return next season as part of the Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts. Cherry, better known for his jackets and ties, has signed on through the 2012 season, and that's good for both hockey and HNIC. While he'll alays have his critics, Don Cherry is opinionated, brash, and funny - something the hockey world needs more of instead of having clichés and rhetoric spun everywhere. I'm glad Grapes is back, and he's sure to be entertaining next season.
"We're delighted to announce that the venerable hockey icon Don Cherry has signed on for another season and will continue to provide hockey’s liveliest and sometimes provocative commentary," says Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president of CBC English Services. "Don has been a part of the CBC Hockey Night in Canada family since 1980, generating passion and debate among hockey fans everywhere. Hockey Night in Canada, with Don at the desk for its 59th season, will continue to bring the very best of hockey programming on all of its platforms to Canadians everywhere."
Wow. Cherry has been a part of HNIC since 1980? That's 32 years after next season! Of course, Don's run on HNIC hasn't been without controversy or the occasional threat of being fired, but Cherry has always come out of the fire with a renewed passion for the game he loves. However, here's a prime example of the controversial Grapes.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, I'm glad that CBC has decided to bring back one of the best parts of the HNIC broadcast in Coach's Corner featuring Don Cherry. There is no doubt that Cherry's style has made him an icon, and, while he might be controversial, there is no doubt that he loves the sport of hockey.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!