Puck the Media’s NHL Studio Analyst of the Decade… Don Cherry
December 29, 2009 2 Comments
These awards are not about talent, they’re about relevance. The strange thing, though, is that through all the years, Don Cherry has never been more popular than he is today. His comments on Alexander Ovechkin sparked a debate across countries and across the web. He made cameos on NBC and ESPN during postseasons, and I’m sure there is still interest in bringing him back to the states somewhere. The fact is, like McGuire, when he speaks, you listen. He’s still as popular as ever, and though his message is no longer timely, it’s still heard by more people than any other hockey commentator in the world. That is enough to give him the award.
Let’s also use the bully pulpit to challenge the NHL for not coming anywhere near finding an American counterpart for Grapes, or even another decent Canadian one. The fact that you’d still rather hear Don Cherry talk for 8 minutes than anyone else in North America is both a failing of hockey as well as the networks that cover it. That said, lets not use it do denigrate some of the work Don does. For every anti-Euro sentiment, there is legitimate, solid advice for youth hockey players, commentary in support of homosexuals in hockey, and the spotlighting of simple hockey plays that often go unnoticed by others. He is everything to everyone, and he is something to anyone. Simple as that.
Honorable Mention: Pierre McGuire (NBC/TSN/OLN), Barry Melrose (ESPN), Mike Milbury (NBC/CBC/NESN)