Hockey players weigh in on Don Cherry’s comments, firing: ‘Disappointing on many fronts’

Max Domi wasn’t about to offer his opinion on Sportsnet’s decision to cut ties with Don Cherry, but the Montreal Canadiens forward was quick to express his admiration for a man he calls a family friend.

“I love Don Cherry. I always have, always will,” Domi said on Tuesday after the Habs’ morning skate. “He’s a big reason why most of us play hockey. We grew up looking up to a guy like that, watching ‘Coach’s Corner’ and stuff. It’s unfortunate what happened, it’s sad. He’s a big part of hockey. That’s all really we can say unfortunately nowadays.”

Sportsnet sacked Cherry on Monday, two days after he was critical of immigrants for not wearing poppies on his “Coach’s Corner” segment on “Hockey Night in Canada.” Since then, Cherry has been a hot topic at arenas across the NHL.

Domi got to know Cherry when his dad, Tie, played in the NHL. Cherry’s grandson, Del, also was a close friend of Max’s as a kid.

Cherry regularly has voiced his support for tough players like Tie Domi, who is third on the NHL’s career penalty minutes list.

“He was a family friend of mine and someone I looked up to,” Max Domi said. “I will always look up to him. He’s an unbelievable guy and what he’s done for this sport is remarkable.”

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