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

Just Posted

Bethlehem Walk enjoyed by many

Volunteers make event possible

Holiday season popular time for mail theft

Be cautious with mail and Amazon packages

Council supports cost of living increase

Rimbey’s interim budget shows slight increase

Academic excellence achieved

Rimbey high school students do well

Snow expected within the next 24 hours

Snowfall expected in Rimbey and area

China hints at national security trials for 2 Canadians detained for one year

The two Canadians’ detention is largely seen as retaliation for the arrest of a Huawei exec

Teen seriously injured: Police in Lethbridge, Alta., charge 5 people in swarming

Police say a 16-year-old boy made arrangements to meet with a young woman before he was attacked

PODCAST: The Expert welcomes AA Lacombe General Jared Williams

Lacombe resident joined Red Deer Advocate Sports Reporter Byron Hackett and Host Todd Vaughan

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Online ‘direct threats’ lead to cancellation of school dance in Blackfalds

Threats resulted from Grade 4 social studies class discussing energy sector

Blackfalds RCMP warn of poor driving conditions on QEII

Vehicles have been involved in collisions and are in the ditch

MP Blaine Calkins: Alberta left behind in Speech from the Throne

Liberal course does nothing for Alberta economy, crime

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

Most Read