I haven’t watched Coach’s Corner in a long time. I stopped when the show became more of a noisy rant-and-rave affair than one that provided some insight into the NHL or even hockey in general.
But it is hard to ignore what happened on Saturday night, what with social media losing its mind over it for a lot of Sunday.
The surprising thing to me — although perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised considering the times in which we live — is the number of people who maintain there was nothing wrong with what went on with Don Cherry and his acquiescent sidekick, Ron MacLean.
After all, MacLean has apologized, writing in a tweet that what Cherry said was “hurtful and prejudiced . . .”
Also, the brass at Rogers Sportsnet has apologized, using “discriminatory,” “offensive” and “divisive” to describe the commentary.
As well, Hockey Canada condemned what was said: “The hockey community does not stand for the comments made (Saturday) night. Hockey is Canada’s game because it brings our country together, be it around the television or in local arenas. Belonging and inclusivity are an integral part of our game.”
And the NHL also issued a statement of condemnation: “Hockey is at its best when it brings people together. The comments made (Saturday) night were offensive and contrary to the values we believe in.”
Let’s agree, then, that what was said was all of those things.
Let’s also agree that this is a case of someone staying — or being allowed to stay — too long at the dance.
If you want more on Cherry, check out this column right here from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star.
Or try this one right here by Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette.
Whether it’s the economy, the influence of TV and/or Netflix and the PVR, or whatever, there are a lot of sports teams out there that aren’t attracting as many fans as they once did and nowhere near as many as they would like to have in their home buildings.
One thing that often is cited as a reason for staying home is the prices at the concession stands. That being the case, perhaps it’s time more teams and facility operators took a look at happenings in Atlanta.
Prior to the 2017 NFL season, the concession prices at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS), the home of the Atlanta Falcons, were slashed by 50 per cent. The result was a 16 per cent increase in average spending per fan over the 2016 season.
On top of that, according to a news release, the concessions also received “an NFL voice of the fan rating of No. 1 across all food and beverage categories.”
In 2018, the fans “spent on average the same amount as they did in 2017 and fans again rated the Falcons No. 1 in all food and beverage categories for the second consecutive year . . .”
In March, prior to the start of Major League Soccer’s 2019 season for Atlanta United, MBS cut the prices of five “top items” by 50 cents each:
Hot Dog: $1.50 (was $2)
Pretzel Bites: $4.50 (was $5)
ATL Bud Burger: $7.50 (was $8)
Ice Cream Waffle Cone: $4.50 (was $5)
Chips and Salsa: $2.50 (was $3)
Jacob Bogage of The Washington Post has more on the Atlanta situation right here.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if just one NHL team, or even one WHL team, cut ticket prices in conjunction with a trimming of concession prices?
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a casino, “is suing San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane, claiming he failed to pay back $500,000 in gambling markers from April,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Possible penalties range from a huge fine and restitution to two minutes for charging.”
Bob Calvert never played for the Moose Jaw Warriors, but there was a time when he was on the WHL team’s board of directors. His son, Jeff, was a goaltender of note with the Warriors (1989-91) and Tacoma Rockets (1991-94). On Friday night, Jeff’s son, Atley, made his WHL debut against the visiting Winnipeg Ice. . . . In other words, Friday was a big night for the Calvert family.
ANOTHER PET PEEVE: The Regina Pats were to have played the visiting Swift Current Broncos at the Brandt Centre on Friday night. However, a problem with the ice resulted in . . . Well, the Pats and Broncos, along with a few others, including some purporting to be members of the media, announced that the game had been cancelled. Actually, it had been postponed and will be rescheduled. . . . Please, people, there is a difference between cancelled and postponed.
Kevin Shaw is an avid follower of the Regina Pats, who has taken to tweeting stories from the team’s past. This included the story in the below tweet that involves the long-gone Spokane Flyers losing 9-4 to the host Pats on Nov. 8, 1981. One night earlier, the Flyers had been beaten 11-3 by the visiting Victoria Cougars. . . . Yes, Spokane played one night at home and 24 hours later in Regina. Oh, and the Flyers bus driver took a wrong turn somewhere that extended the trek to Regina by a couple of hours. . . . BTW, one night before losing to Victoria, the Flyers were to have played in Kamloops. However, that game wasn’t played because, as Dave Senick of the Regina Leader-Post wrote: “Their bus was about to be repossessed and there was no money for gasoline or meals. And, the team’s payroll has not been met for two weeks.” . . . Ahh, those were the days.
JUST NOTES: Watching the Vancouver Canucks and host Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. The visitors lose D Chris Tanev and D Tyler Myers on back-to-back shifts in the second period. What happened? Both players limped off after blocking shots (luckily for the Canucks, both soon were back in action). I have never understood the emphasis on blocking shots that goaltenders are equipped, trained and paid to stop. . . . The Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL’s West Division final. Yeah, I’ll take that for a Sunday afternoon’s entertainment. But will it be cold and snowy? . . . Did the Edmonton Eskimos save head coach Jason Maas’s job with their victory over the Alouettes in Montreal on Sunday. . . . The NFL and video review aren’t a match made in heaven. . . . As a sporting spectacle is there anything better than a big-time NCAA football matchup like Saturday’s game featuring LSU and Alabama?