Don Cherry poses for a photo in Toronto on Monday, March 10, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Don’t expect an immediate replacement for fired commentator Don Cherry on “Coach’s Corner.”

In fact, it’s possible that Sportsnet may eventually take the long-running “Hockey Night in Canada” segment in a different direction.

“We’re taking the time to explore new formats for the first intermission,” Sportsnet communications director Andrew Garas said in an email to The Canadian Press late Friday afternoon.

Garas also confirmed that Saturday night’s first intermission will highlight the 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees. The induction ceremony is Monday.

Cherry’s nearly four-decade run on Hockey Night ended this past Monday. He made on-air comments last Saturday night which many felt were critical of immigrants for not wearing Remembrance Day poppies.

Segment co-host Ron MacLean, who apologized last weekend, said this week he intends to address the matter on Saturday. MacLean did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

HNIC was a longtime CBC Saturday night staple, but the show and its games moved to Sportsnet when Rogers landed a lucrative long-term broadcast rights deal with the NHL that began in 2014. “Coach’s Corner” and HNIC are still broadcast on CBC in a sub-licensing deal with Rogers Media, which owns Sportsnet.

Cherry’s departure sparked much discussion among hockey fans about what the future of the popular segment might hold.

The 85-year-old native of Kingston, Ont., joined HNIC in 1980 as a playoff analyst and was so popular that he was kept on as a colour commentator. CBC later created “Coach’s Corner” as a vehicle to showcase Cherry with MacLean eventually replacing Dave Hodge as his sidekick.

Several candidates would be qualified to replace Cherry if Sportsnet elects to stay with the current format.

Former hockey executive and current Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke is listed as the early betting favourite (+125), according to odds released this week by sportsbook Bodog.

Odds were also available for Sportsnet broadcasters Elliotte Friedman (+175), Colby Armstrong (+650), Craig Simpson (+650), Kelly Hrudey (+650) and Chris Johnston (+900).

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Eighth annual Wood Show in Lacombe

Central Alberta Wood Workers and Woodturners Guild hosted its annual show recently

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

Six months into the pandemic, at least some things are getting back to normal for rural producers

‘Things are kind of getting more normal it seems… (we’re) just having to learn how to deal with everything how it is.’

RCMP remind Albertans to practice rail safety

In 2019, Alberta had the second highest number of total railway crossing incidents

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

‘Worst of the worse cases:’ Alberta horse owners on alert for outbreak of fever

An outbreak of the Potomac horse fever has been declared in Alberta

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $50 million Lotto Max jackpot

Jackpot for the next draw will grow to approximately $55 million

Most Read