Former New York Rangers enforcer Chris Nilan and former NHL enforcer Jim Thomson disagree on the future of fighting in the National Hockey League, but both stand united to see CBC analyst Don Cherry make amends for his recent comments, according to Jesse Spector of The Hockey News.
“I was kind of caught off guard being called a turncoat, a puke and a hypocrite, because I was perceived not to share some of the views of one Don Cherry,” Nilan told Sporting News on Tuesday. “He stated that somehow I had a stance against fighting in the National Hockey League, and somehow he said that I believed that the role of enforcer somehow turns the people who perform that role into alcoholics and drug addicts, which couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Nilan was talking about the recent comment made by Cherry during a “Coach’s Corner” segment on Hockey Night In Canada:
“You people that are against fighting, you should be ashamed of yourself. You took advantage of (the summer deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak) to make your point on fighting. You should be ashamed of yourself. … The ones that I am really disgusted with, and I hate to say this (when) the kids are listening … they’re a bunch of pukes that fought before: Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson. The reason, oh, the reason that they’re drinking, drugs and alcohol, is because they fight. You turncoats! You hypocrites! There’s one thing I don’t like it’s a hypocrite. You were fighters, and now you don’t want guys to make the same living you did.”
… Don Cherry made some terrible comments about former enforcers in the NHL who would like to see fighting drop out of the sport for health reason. Some agree, some disagree as the case is here with Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson.
Cherry has a knack for pissing people off and he has done so once again.
Cherry doesn’t realize that maybe these guys know A LOT better than what he knows and they don’t want to see these young kids go through the same life they did. They want to protect hockey players today and make sure they stay healthy. But if Don Cherry has his way he would love to see even more people get hurt or even turn to alcohol, drugs and possibly suicide.
It’s a real shame but thankfully for guys like Nilan and Thomson, the hockey players of today have people who know from experience looking out for them and not a pompous jerk like Don Cherry.
Filed Under: Rangers
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