Love him or hate him, Don Cherry will no longer be on “Hockey Night In Canada.”
The longtime hockey commentator found himself out of a job after divisive comments about how “you people” don’t wear poppies in Canada.
Sportsnet, the NHL rights-holder in Canada, will have to find a replacement for Cherry on “Coach’s Corner,” which has been on the air for more than three decades.
That means after years of Cherry bashing Quebecers, Europeans (especially Swedes) and Indigenous people, it’s finally time for a fresh voice to dissect the sport of hockey.
In no particular order, here are some suggestions to take Cherry’s seat:
Arguably the world’s greatest female hockey player and captain of Canadian women’s team. Poulin could bring that millennial voice to “Hockey Night.” Plus, broadcasting pays way better than the Canadian Women’s Hockey League did.
Hockey fan? Check. On-camera experience? Check.
He was the four-year-old whose dad put a microphone on him on the ice. This little Timbit is already a viral sensation, so the audience is there. And odds are pretty good that he’ll be more comprehensible than Cherry at the best of times.
Looking for a hockey veteran with a propensity for saying things that will ruffle some feathers? Look no further than Burkie. The former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (and also alumnus of the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks) is the most likely candidate, plus he’s already with Sportsnet.
He already hosts “Hockey Night in Punjabi” and knows how the sport can bring Canadians of all backgrounds together. He’s passionate (remember “Bonino Bonino Bonino!!!”), but is he too nice for a role like this?
The Philadelphia Flyers mascot may have the face for radio, but he doesn’t have a voice. Then again, who needs a voice when you have those googly eyes.
The comedian from Montreal knows how to entertain. He’s also got a large following on social media. Most of all, he really wants the job and put out a demo video to prove it.
The former NHL goalie with years of broadcasting experience will be the cosy choice for those who watch “Hockey Night” regularly. He’s well-spoken, articulate, fair and balanced. Just like Grapes.
The former hockey player is a three-time Olympian, two-time gold medallist, motivational speaker and an experienced broadcaster.
A huge hockey fan who knows what it takes to be an athlete at the highest level. He could do this job, and even better if he has a beer in his hand to reach his full fanatic potential.
The astronaut and first Canadian commander of the International Space Station gets mentioned for every other big job in this country, why not this one?
He’s hip, cool and experienced, but would he really come back from the dead after his split from Sportsnet? Pro: he has more Twitter followers than everyone else on this list. Pro/con: He’s a Habs fan.
ED THE SOCK
Combative, loud and anything but mild-mannered, this Canadian icon is no puppet. Well, actually he is, but maybe that can be refreshing.