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

UPDATE: Wildfire northeast of Clinton put out by BC Wildfire Service

Fire at 51 Mile Creek suspected to be lightning-caused

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Amidst heatwaves, officials remind public to take water safety seriously

RCMP, Search and Rescue and BC branch of Lifesaving Society offer recommendations to those water-bound

Children enjoy activities at South Cariboo Rec Centre day camps

Children are getting the chance to enjoy fun day camps with COVID-19 precautions in place.

Canim Lake vehicle rollover ruled ‘unfortunate accident’

Sirens were heard at Canim Lake shortly on July 22, due to a single-vehicle rollover.

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read