don cherry hall of fame

There's now a debate if Don Cherry should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame

In the wake of the Don Cherry controversy that has been at the centre of Canadian discourse for the past week, many are now wondering whether the iconic — though problematic — hockey commentator will (or should) be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Cherry has made more than a few questionable remarks during his decades-long tenure as the face of Hockey Night in Canada, but his rant about immigrants and poppies on the November 9 Coach's Corner segment caused enough uproar to see him let go from the Sportsnet show.

Though Cherry didn't have a particularly extraordinary career as a player in the minor leagues, he has gone on to become one of the country's most famous hockey personalities.

So, understandably, many have over the years called for his induction into the Hall of Fame, or just assumed it was something that would one day happen.

After the last week's events, that is coming into question.

Even some of his supporters can admit that the way Cherry phrased his comments was cringeworthy, and his lack of a proper apology certainly didn't mitigate the situation.

Though his legacy as the face of Canadian hockey hasn't been blighted by provocative comments he's made in the past, it seems that this most recent incident was the last straw for some viewers.

Recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Hayley Wickenheiser described the feelings of many Canadians when she told CBC on Friday that she's grateful for Cherry's lifelong support of the game, but that there have been many times she "watched Don and shook my head. I disagreed with a lot of things that he said" — including his poppy comments.

The saga has been undeniably heartbreaking for all Canadians, whether you are disturbed by Cherry's initial comments or disturbed by his resulting fall out of favour.

It has become a conversation about politics, about freedom of speech, about discrimination, and about hockey in Canada, which, if you like it or not, is undeniably a huge part of our national identity.

Co-host Ron MacLean put it best when he appeared solo on this past weekend's Coach's Corner and said that "we are all hurting... we are all disappointed."

Whether the hurt and disappointment on both sides of the issue will have an effect on if Cherry will end up in the Hockey Hall of Fame remains to be seen.

Lead photo by

Coach's Corner


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