NHL notebook: Canadian icon Cherry fired over comments – Metro US

NHL notebook: Canadian icon Cherry fired over comments

Longtime Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry was fired on Monday, two days after making on-air comments that many believed disparaged immigrants.

Cherry, 85, was speaking Saturday on his “Coach’s Corner” segment on “Hockey Night In Canada” and began a discussion of Remembrance Day — the Canadian equivalent of Veterans Day. People often wear red poppies, paper poppies or similar pins to mark the day.

“I live in Mississauga (Ontario),” he said on the air. “Very few people wear the poppy. Downtown Toronto, forget it. Nobody wears the poppy. … Now you go to the small cities. You people … that come here, whatever it is — you love our way of life. You love our milk and honey. At least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada. These guys paid the biggest price for that.”

On Sunday, Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley apologized for Cherry’s comments, and the network fired him on Monday. Cherry confirmed his firing to the Toronto Sun on Monday afternoon and said he didn’t regret his comments. CBC originally hired him in 1981 to appear on “Hockey Night In Canada.”

–Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno was suspended three games for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday.

Foligno drew a five-minute charging penalty and a game misconduct for the hit. He left his skates near center ice as Bellemare approached and drove his left elbow into the opponent’s face.

The league’s ruling means that Foligno, 32, is set to miss a Tuesday road game at Montreal, a Friday home game against the St. Louis Blues and a Nov. 19 home game against the Canadians.

–The Arizona Coyotes signed John Chayka, their president of hockey operations and general manager, to a long-term contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

Chayka, 30, was only 26 when he was hired on May 5, 2016, becoming the youngest GM in NHL and North American major sports history at the time. He was promoted to president of hockey operations on July 12, 2017.

The Coyotes, who haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011-12, are off to a 10-6-2 start after a 4-3 shootout win over the Washington Capitals on Monday.

–Field Level Media