Cherry applauds stiff Cooke suspension, but says it should have happened sooner

Author:
Publish date:

TORONTO - Don Cherry says the NHL got it right this time.

The colourful "Hockey Night In Canada" personality applauded the league for its stiff suspension of Pittsburgh agitator Matt Cooke on Saturday's "Coach's Corner" broadcast on CBC.

Cooke was suspended for the rest of the regular season, which worked out to 10 games, plus the first round of the playoffs for elbowing Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers in the head in a game last Sunday afternoon.

"It's almost like a drunk, (he) has to have something done to him to straighten him out," Cherry said of Cooke. "I believe this kid will straighten out."

Cherry was far more measured in tone Saturday than he was in a "Coach's Corner" segment that aired just over a year ago, when he called Cooke "gutless" and "backstabbing" after his hit to the head of Marc Savard left the Bruins centre with a severe concussion. Cooke was not suspended for that hit, a decision that infuriated Cherry.

"It's too bad he wasn't straightened out on the Savard (hit), which he should have got 20 games," Cherry said Saturday. "It might have saved a lot of guys injuries."

Cherry also lauded McDonagh, a rookie, for showing respect to Cooke by saying the Penguins forward didn't mean to hit him in the head.

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_15654561_168394049_lowres
Play

Leafs’ Dominance of Divison Begs Question on How They Stack Up to Other Teams

The Maple Leafs blanked the Oilers for the second consecutive night, leaving us to wonder how they measure to other top teams

Jones_LD_A26P2440
Play

Why Hasn't the OHL Returned Yet?

Junior hockey has been approved for games in nearly every Canadian province - except the biggest one.

USATSI_15471607_168393428_lowres
Play

Who Gets Fired Next: Ralph Krueger or John Tortorella?

The Sabres and Blue Jackets have been floundering of late and much of the attention has turned to behind their respective benches. With one firing already in the books, will GMs there be getting itchy trigger fingers?