Some Weasel, Some Sisters
One of the most annoying things about Don Cherry is his habit of reminding viewers how smart he is when one of his predictions hits the mark. “I told you so” does not work very well in the pundit business. First, he is supposed to be right, so it isn’t a very impressive claim. Second, bragging when he is right kind of obligates him to confess his errors, too, doesn’t it?
On the eve of the retirement of Pavel Bure’s number on Hockey Night in Canada and the day that the Sedins inked a spiffy new rich (and richly deserved) contract, I can’t help pointing that Don Cherry was wrong about Pavel Bure and he was wrong about the Sedins. And he wasn’t a little bit wrong. He was off by a million miles on all of them. We don’t have to wonder whether that will be a subject on Coach’s Corner tomorrow night, do we?
Even before the Pavel Bure Stanley Cup holdout slander – that was the one Quinn raged about, while Bure responded with “Would I comment on the clowns in the circus?” – Don called Pavel a little weasel of a player and generally slagged him every chance he got. He did not say a single nice thing about him or his play until Pavel blew out his knee.
He’s been a little more restrained with the Sedins, but not much. He criticised the Canucks for drafting them and he has called them the Sedin Sisters and the Bobbsey Twins. He may have said something nice about them during their Stanley Cup run, but if he did I can’t recall it. John Tortorella probably wasn’t talking specifically about Don Cherry when he went on his rant about the Sedins, but he might as well have been pointing directly at him.
“I’m not sure who started it but I’m sure there are a couple of know-it-alls out there who always talk about it. But they don’t have a clue what these guys are about. In our league, I think we act like idiots sometimes when that (stuff) sticks with them after you watch them play… These aren’t soft people. These aren’t soft players.
“I’ve had the honour, in this short time, to be with them, up close and personal and see how hard they work and see what they do on the ice. It pisses me off, the reputation that’s still out there. It’s so undeserving and so disrespectful.”
Pavel’s in the Hall of Fame and tomorrow night his number goes into the rafters. And it won’t be too many years down the road when Daniel and Henrik garner the same honours.
That’s some weasel and pretty spectacular sisters, eh, Don?
Full Disclosure: I was right about Pavel from his very first game. I usually like to see a player play at least 40 games before I really judge his ability. Bure impressed me with his first shift and sold me after his first game. I spent years defending every aspect of his play. I’ve been a fan for more than 50 years and he is one of the best players I’ve ever seen. He is the most entertaining player I’ve ever seen.
I was wrong about the Sedins. I never doubted that they were NHL players but I did not like the fact that they are not good skaters and they do not shoot particularly well. Can they manage the puck into the net often enough to be real stars? Not likely, I thought. Good, but not great, I said.
Many people told me that I was wrong, but I did not listen to them. The only thing I will say in my defense is that I never doubted their courage, effort or attitude. I would never call them names. I was wrong, but I don’t have anything to be ashamed about.
Update: Well, I’ll be damned.