Don Cherry calls out Russia's Nail Yakupov for comments

Hockey commentator and former coach Don Cherry. (REUTERS)

Hockey commentator and former coach Don Cherry. (REUTERS)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:06 AM ET

UFA, RUSSIA - Don Cherry has addressed the controversial comments Nail Yakupov failed to own up to.

Following Russia’s thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Slovakia Wednesday night in Ufa, Russia, Yakupov wasn’t made available to the media.

Earlier this week, the NHL's top prospect was quoted in Russia’s R-Sport as saying team Canada play “dirty,” a comment Cherry took to task on Twitter less than 24 hours later.

“Let me see,” the Coach’s Corner icon started his statement, “We let him take a Canadian kid’s spot in the Canadian Hockey League, let him learn his hockey in our program, treat him (like) royally, give him great coaching so he can go No. 1 overall (in the NHL Draft) and he calls us dirty.”

It would have been nice to hear whether Yakupov was ready to back up his own words.

Yakupov, the first overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers last June, was also quoted as saying: “I will have to keep a cool head and ignore provocations, especially against the Canadians. These guys play dirty. We got used to that, we played a few games in North America, so our team is ready.”

Before taking one of the tournament’s top talents to task for his pre-tournament comments, Cherry went old school, appearing to mix WWII history with one of hockey’s biggest rivalries.

“Funny hearing the Russian people cheering for Germany against Canada,” he wrote. “How soon they forget … I could care less what Nail thinks of us, what bugs me, he took a Canadian kids spot in the Canadian Hockey League.”

Canada and Russia meet on New Year’s Eve. Count on it being a heck of a hockey game.

 


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