Sunday, December 13, 2009

A rock em, sock em, declaration!

"The aggressive, lack-of-respect hockey that he preaches — we need to get that out of the game."-- Dr. Charles Tator, whistling a verbal slap shot past Don Cherry and his love of the physical part of hockey

A Toronto neurosurgeon has taken Don Cherry and the physical brand of hockey he espouses to task, suggesting that Canada's most watched hockey commentator and icon to many is perhaps the root cause for serious injury in the sport.

Dr. Charles Tator was speaking at conference on concussions held in Regina (see video from conference here) when he offered up the suggesting that Cherry frequently outlines an aggressive, lack-of-respect style of hockey to fans, part of the culture of the game that the Doctor feels Cherry could help change.

His thoughts were not of the unanimous variety on the panel in Regina, nor on the comment boards on the CBC site which first reported the Doctor's declaration.

Many hockey fans logged on to advise the doctor that in their opinion he's a bit offside on the play(see comments below CBC Story), with more than a few pointing out past instances on Coach's corner where Cherry called for change or outlined dangerous play.

And while Cherry does seem to foment the physical play of the game, to point the finger in his direction may be a tad unfair, as suggested there is a culture of violence to the game from its historical days right up to the play of this past Saturday night.

While Cherry does highlight the heavy hits and more than enough of the pugilists, he has also in the past advocated for safety measures on hockey equipment and at the rinks. In the end the game will only change when the players come to understand that they need to reign in some of their actions which have at times taken the sport beyond an acceptable physical nature of the game.

By bringing Mr. Cherry's name into the discussion however, Doctor Tator has accomplished one thing, everyone is going to be talking about the issue now and if by using Cherry in a negative fashion the message gets another hearing, then we're pretty sure even Coach's corner will feel its a worthwhile bit of tar and feathering.

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