Cherry's talking NHL

Analyst Don Cherry, relaxing last night at Wayne Gretzky's cafe, hopes for hockey peace by January....

Analyst Don Cherry, relaxing last night at Wayne Gretzky's cafe, hopes for hockey peace by January. (Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun)

Joe Warmington -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

Can you imagine no NHL hockey for a year-and-a-half? The biggest hockey fan of them all can and says with this current labour disruption it very well may happen.

"They are going to the wall, no question," Don Cherry said last night. "If they don't get it done by January, it could go until the next January."

Attending a promotion for Cold-FX, which was holding a charitable event at Wayne Gretzky's for the Rose Cherry Home for kids, Cherry said although things are at such an impasse he still believes the players and owners will try to get it settled this coming January.

'OWNERS WANT PLAYOFFS'

"The owners want the playoffs," he said. "If they don't get the playoffs this year there will be no incentive to settle it until the playoffs next year."

By that time, the hockey industry would be in big trouble -- particularly in the U.S. "It could go three years and it would come back in Canada," he said. "But I don't know about down there."

Cherry talked of leaving Game 7 of the Stanley Cup in Tampa early and witnessing "people leaving the arena as if they had just gone to a movie."

There was no pandemonium, no excitement.

So what side is he on? "Both. It has to change, no doubt about it," he said. But the players deserve everything they can get. "I love to see the players doing well. Wouldn't you try to make $1.8 million if you could? For the first time in my life, I am in the middle on something."


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