Sometimes Don Cherry Is Right !!!

Don Cherry Has Said For Years That The Benches Should Be On Opposite Sides Of The Ice —

It seems like the fashionable thing to do nowadays in the media and especially the eastern media is to bash Don Cherry.

Cherry_Maclean3Donald S. Cherry is a polarizing individual that invites a lot of controversy by his sometimes outlandish views.  Some call him a Dinosaur and that’s okay because I have a little Dinosaur in me too.  I may be 20 years younger than Mr. Cherry but I actually agree with a lot of his stances.  But, I also disagree with a lot of his stances too.  Whether you are pro-Cherry, anti-Cherry or a person that has enough brains to pick and form your own opinions, he does spark a lot of interesting debates.  

There is a certain segment of our hockey world that automatically discounts or discredits anything Don Cherry say because that’s what they do and conversely his followers see nothing wrong with his act.  I like to pick and choose the ones I agree with and form my own opinions. The one I choose today is: The players benches on the same side of the ice.  Donald S has been on his soapbox many, many times on this issue and one of his latest was this past May during the Stanley Cup playoffs.  

May, 2013  

Oct. 2, 2013:  Another bench incident happened recently between the Ducks and the Avalanche.  It started with Av’s coach Patrick Roy and Ducks forward Corey Perry beaking at each other and it wasn’t long before Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau chimed in.  It continued with the arguing between the wobbly partitions that separate the two benches.  Would this have happened if the players benches were on the opposite sides of the ice?  Probably not.   This crap has been going on for decades.  There was the Marc Crawford and Scotty Bowman incident along with the famous Pat Burns and Barry Melrose beak-off and on and on.  AND, lets not forget the infamous Chris Simon “STOMP” and 30 day suspension because of an incident at the players bench.

This issue and many others like “staged fighting” and “head shots” have taken a back seat by the deep thinkers at the NHL head office.  They are concentrating on stopping those darn NHLers from shooting the “PUCK OVER THE GLASS” and policing the game by making sure that those “JERSEYS AREN”T TUCKED IN”!!!  Those little NHL rascals and their darn sweaters.   I just bet all the members of the NHLPA are sleeping better at night because of these forward thinking measures.        

These bench incidents have been going on for years and it just makes no sense.  Don Cherry and many others have been pointing this out for years and it just falls on deaf ears.  The NHL and anybody that doesn’t like the idea has come up with some beauties for excuses.  My favorite is that it gives the home team an advantage because after a penalty the home-team player only has to skate a couple of feet to his bench and the poor visiting teams player has to skate all the way across the massive expanse of ice to get to his bench.  Really?  Did it ever occur to the genius’s at the NHL’s head office or the rules committee or whoever has input into these types of things that maybe is OKAY for the home-team to have a small home ice advantage.  I mean the last time I checked every NHL team played the same amount of home games.

Another good reason for benches on the opposite side of the ice is that it would eliminate the “long change” in the second period.  Teams would now be able to set their benches so that the defencemen  could come in the closest gate for all three periods.  Wouldn’t you think that if coaches had that option it would trump the longer skate to the bench after penalties?  

I swear that the NHL does this just to spite Don Cherry because they would never want to give him the satisfaction of being correct.

Love him or hate him, you have to give Don Cherry his props.  The man played 18 years in the AHL and coached another 700 plus games in the AHL and NHL (1972 NHL Coach of the Year) along with a being on television for another 30 plus years.  Don Cherry has forgotten more about hockey than his critics ever hoped to know.  I respect his position a hell of a lot more than some of the hacks that write daily columns in Canadian and American newspapers.    

Is he always right?  Hell no!  Is he always interesting?  Yes, for the most part.  Is he always passionate?  Yes!  Right or wrong, does he believe his opinions always in the best interest of the game?  YES!!!

Yes, sometimes Donald Stewart Cherry is actually right. 

   ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ for WHT articles and updates

  ☛ ☛ ☛ ☛ if you want to just talk hockey  

Comments welcome below 


  1. Good stuff Mitch. I often shake my head at Grapes but he’s got this right. It goes back a long ways, even reminding me of a game in Edmonton when I’d had enough of Sather’s yapping from behind his players and he got down to the end of the bench and giving it to me. I finally just jumped and swung at him, and he naturally high-tailed it out of there. Thankfully ex-teammate and buddy John Hughes was first to grab me and nobody died, particularly me on the Oiler bench. lol
    So I tried to think things through a bit more from that point on 🙂 , and I blame it on the benches being side-by-side.

  2. Mitch Kasprick says

    It makes absolutely no sense. It really makes me wonder why the NHL is so stubborn on this. How many times did you want to wipe that smirk right off of Slats’s mug.

  3. Scott Campbell says

    I hated the smirk, his big mouth, and the fact we couldn’t get near him. Thats long gone, of course, but still hate the Oilers. 🙂 And we made that smirk disappear at the end of that year.
    That day Clacker just got beat up by Semenko and he yelled at least 10 times. “See that Campbell? You wanna go Semenk now?” over and over, so I snapped, finally yelled back, “Actually I’m going you first , you f’n as***le!” and jumped into my near-death experience. Emotions rule brains when your buddy just took a beating, and a weasel is peeking its head out of its hole yapping.
    Yea, I know, Sather was the smart one. lol
    And the only thing I can figure why the NHL wouldn’t make that move with the benches would be about money, and I can’t see that position.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      LOL … as much as I hate coaches that beak at players one thing you could say about Sather was he coached like he played … I’ve heard the benches and money argument too but it’s pretty lame also.

Blog Stats

  • 179,916 hits