Friday, March 9, 2012

NHL could force Cherry, MacLean off Hockey Night: Sun Columnist

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons writes that  soon CBC Sports may be faced with a most difficult decision.
"Soon, as negotiations to renew Hockey Night In Canada’s contract with the National Hockey League commence, a determination on the future of Cherry and the ever-popular Coach’s Corner segment will have to be made," he writes.
"It may, in fact, be forced.
"When (Leafs GM Brian) Burke went behind Cherry’s back and made it clear to his NHL brethren that he no longer wanted Cherry on the large Hockey Night stage he found he had surprising support for the concept. He wasn’t alone in wanting the outspoken Cherry silenced. There is a sense within the NHL that Hockey Night, and in particular host Ron MacLean and Cherry, are too combative, too critical, too agenda driven for the NHL’s liking.
"If this is the league’s signature program, they, like some of their friends at CBC, would prefer it to be more vanilla. Less spice.
"So here’s the CBC dilemma: Cherry remains its ratings grabber. Large as the game may be, he still commands attention far beyond the game itself and long after Saturday night is over. It’s six days after game night and his anti-Burke rant is still a trending topic of conversation. . . "

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