Don Cherry rips Auston Matthews, implying that his Swiss League play has softened him.

Published May 22, 2021 at 10:36

Since his exile from Coach's Corner and Hockey Night in Canada - and perhaps even before that - Don Cherry has been a divisive figure in the hockey community. Nonetheless, through his Grapevine Podcast and social media, he still has plenty of reach with which to deliver his message and regale us with his antiquated hockey perspectives.

In one of his latest rants, Cherry went off on Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, who seemed more amused than anything, wearing an ear-to-ear smile while Montreal Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot grabbed ahold of him by the jersey collar and began jarring him back and forth violently after Matthews drew a roughing penalty against the big blueliner behind the Montreal net during game one of the Leafs/Habs series on Thursday.

In case you missed it, have a look below:

The sequence irked Cherry, who likely would have preferred to see Matthews turn around and try to take a bite out of Chiarot, a guy who has made a career out of throwing big hits and dropping the mitts when necessary. Here's what Cherry had to say on the matter.


This one is a bit of a head-scratcher, as Cherry has been advocating for team tough guys to take care of star players for decades, so I'm not quite sure why he's criticizing Matthews, a bona-fide superstar in the NHL who has never fought, for not dropping the gloves with Chiarot, who has 11 career NHL fights to his credit and an additional 32 fights in the AHL/OHL, prior to arriving in the NHL.

Ignoring the obvious mismatch and the fact that it would be a detriment to the Leafs to have Matthews, the 2020-21 Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner, and Chiarot both sitting for 5 minutes, there was really no need for Matthews to do anything other than what he did on the play, which was to smirk about the upcoming powerplay, where he had the opportunity to inflict some more valuable damage to his opponent - on the score sheet.

It's these types of hot takes and Cherry's constant contradiction of his own hockey values that necessitated his removal from prime time TV in the first place.

Oh, Grapes..
May 22   |   358 answers
Don Cherry rips Auston Matthews, implying that his Swiss League play has softened him.

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