Hockey commentator Don Cherry will be initiated as an honourary life member of the Royal Canadian Legion in a special ceremony on Saturday in Kingston.
He will be just the 40th person so honoured in the legion's 81-year history, joining luminaries such as Mackenzie King, John Diefenbaker, Lester Pearson, Dwight Eisenhower and Earl Mountbatten.
Cherry has always been there to defend and support our troops and veterans, RCL Dominion president John Frost noted in a statement to be released today.
The vote of acceptance was unanimous.
"I gotta tell you this means an awful lot to me and I really mean that," Cherry said in a noticeably softer-than-usual tone during a phone interview. "I can't really put it into words except to say I'm quite humbled that the legion thinks that much of me to honour me in this way."
CANUCKS BUILD DEFENCE
The Vancouver Canucks strengthened their defence yesterday by signing Kevin Bieksa to a three-year contract extension worth $11.25 million US and adding free agent Aaron Miller, who signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.
Assistant GM Steve Tambellini said Bieksa, 26, brings a lot of qualities to the team.
"Leadership, toughness, his ability to play in specialty situations," Tambellini said. "Maybe more importantly to us, he was willing to forego his free agency year and commit to the Canucks long-term."
The Phoenix Coyotes have signed left-winger Mike York to a $1-million, one-year contract. York is joining his fifth NHL team ... Veteran forward Dallas Drake agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings, the team that originally drafted him in 1989 ... The Dallas Stars signed veteran left-winger Todd Fedoruk to a one-year deal worth $875,000. Fedoruk, 28, appeared in 58 games last season with the Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers ... Bill Guerin has been named captain of the N.Y. Islanders.
WINGS BRING HOME DRAKE
Veteran forward Dallas Drake agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings, the team that originally drafted him in 1989.
The 38-year-old was placed on waivers last month by the St. Louis Blues. Drake signed a $2.2-million, two-year deal before last season and was due to make $1 million next year.
Drake has 174 goals and 297 assists in 944 career games. He ended last season on injured reserve because of a wrist injury.