An Open Letter to Don Cherry

Posted March 28, 2019

(Caps Outsider)

Dear Don,

You’re the jerk.

There is no other way to put it. You’re the hockey equivalent of a fourth-line agitator with limited minutes who gets misconducts for yelling at the refs while sitting on the bench.

You said, “You don’t do this thing in professional hockey,” referring to the Hurricanes’ Storm Surge.  We live in a time where people wake up and check their social media. They don’t wake up and watch or read the news. I know the first thing I always do the next morning after the Canes win is to see what celebration they did. We live in a world of “hey, did you see this last night?” Because of that, the Hurricanes are drawing eyes and fans.

Is that not what they are supposed to do? How many times have you criticized teams in a “non-traditional hockey market” about not drawing fans? Well now they are, and for some reason, you still find a way to hate them, despite their captain, Justin Williams, being a “good Canadian boy.” You said, “Can you imagine Justin Williams doing this?” I can actually. It was his idea.

Now, onto the next “jerk.” Evgeny Kuznetsov, someone you already hate because he is Russian. He flaps his arms up and down like an eagle, the mascot of the team he plays for, after he scores a big goal. The celebration is borrowed from the world’s most popular EA Sports video game series. The most important part of this is that he does it for his young daughter. What is he supposed to do if his daughter asks why he stopped? Is he supposed to say “Sorry honey, I am not allowed to smile at work. I am not allowed to have fun?”

Let’s not forget that Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel did coordinated celebrations at the All-Star game in Tampa last season. Or do they get a pass because one plays in Toronto, the other in a “traditional hockey market” like Buffalo. Or do they get passes because they aren’t Europeans? Does Patrick Kane get a pass as well for the same reasons, even tough he did it in a regular season game?

If you don’t want to hear it from me, hear from someone “inside hockey” someone that is “part of the game.”

Times are changing. The NHL has a long way to go before it can even come close to competing with the popularity of the NBA. But what makes the NBA so popular, especially among my generation, is that we know who the players are as people. We don’t see them as entertainment. To some, they are artists. Fun = good, now it’s up to the NHL to market the players’ personalities.

Now Don, stop getting in the way and step aside.