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CHERRY PICKIN'

Cherry Pickin' -- Grapes gives a Remembrance Day spot every Canadian should see

By Kurt Larson, Toronto Sun

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Don Cherry and Ron MacLean on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

Welcome to Cherry Pickin’, where we at QMI Agency analyze Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada each week.


It’s the least you can do, Don Cherry said in his annual Remembrance Day tribute Saturday night in one of the most watched five minutes on Canadian TV. Grapes used Coach’s Corner to spotlight a fallen soldier, a man who reminded each of us why we pin a poppy to our lapels this time every year.

“These guys gave their lives,” Cherry said during CBC’s Coach’s Corner. “At least you can buy a poppy.”

The serious tone Cherry took Saturday night was replicated in his less-flamboyant jacket.

Grapes exchanged pok-a-dots and flowers for a dark shade of red while talking about Private Steven Allen, 20, of Victoria, who died in a training accident last week when a tactical structure collapsed in Wainwright, Alta.

“He died in the line,” Cherry said of Allen. “God love you. Twenty years old. What can we say?"

Cherry and Ron MacLean used Allen’s tribute to segue into a plea for everyone to remember Canada’s war dead. Coach’s Corner used the same clip it uses every year around this time – a video of Cherry walking through a war cemetery in France that’s full of Canadian soldiers.

“Everyone remember when you’re buying a poppy and you see row after row of Canadian dead," Cherry says in the video played every November.

“Think of all this.”

While small in comparison, hockey was discussed Saturday night. Cherry put forward a name for this season’s Norris Trophy. MacLean laughed when Mark Giordano’s name was mentioned. But Cherry continued to pump up the Calgary Flames defenceman.

“I knew Giordano when nobody knew him,” Cherry told MacLean. “His mother wrote a letter how great I was.

“Right now, let’s start talking Norris Trophy right now!”

Giordano's line in '14:

  • 16 GP
  • 5 G
  • 13 A
  • Plus-8

Proof there are still good fights in the NHL, Cherry moved on to a Thursday scrap between Pittsburgh’s Simon Despres and Winnipeg’s Evander Kane.

What did he like about it? The fact the two went toe-to-toe like men, agreeing to unstrap before the bout got started.

“Take the helmets off. Take the bonnets off,” Cherry said. “And then they have a .... ***no one will ever know what cherry was trying to say here***

Either way, he continued: “Hey, Kane’s having a good year. And he’s not counting his money.

Undoubtedly a reference to Kane posting wads of cash on Twitter a few years back.

“Two good guys,” Cherry continued. “(Kane) is making a lot of money and that’s OK.”

Another one of the "good guys," according to Grapes, is Sens stud Clarke MacArthur. Because, well, he acts like he has scored before.

“You don’t go climbing the glass," Cherry says on CBC's Hockey Night. "We put this on (MacArthur) is a good guy.”

One thing that continued Saturday night was Cherry's insistence on taking tiny shots at company executives who appear to be slashing his face time. MacLean seemed to badger Cherry throughout the segment they were running out of time.

"Why are we so tight?! Why are we tight!?" Cherry asks. 

MacLean: "You’re so popular. It’s all the advertising."

Poll

Are you wearing a poppy this year?


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