Cherry mashes Tator

Cherry said he has done a lot to make hockey a safer game, but he has no interest in discussing it...

Cherry said he has done a lot to make hockey a safer game, but he has no interest in discussing it with Tator. (Sean Kilpatrick/QMI Agency)

KEVIN CONNOR, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 PM ET

Don Cherry says the doctor who recently blamed him for concussions in hockey needs to get his head checked.

"I give it out pretty good. I dish it out and normally take it, but it is totally unfair for this guy to say I'm responsible," Cherry said last night on Coach's Corner.

The rant was Cherry's first response to comments made about him by neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Tator, who was speaking at a Hockey Canada concussion seminar in Regina last Saturday.

Tator said the "aggressive, lack of respect" style of hockey Cherry promotes is dangerous.

The "sock 'em, kill 'em type of hockey" has a "negative influence" on the game and needs to be abandoned, Tator said.

Cherry said he has done a lot to make hockey a safer game, but he has no interest in discussing it with Tator.

"I hate to think that Dr. Tator was doing this to get his name in the paper. I thought doctors were above that, but apparently I was wrong."

Hockey Night in Canada quickly came to Cherry's defence last Sunday.

"Don Cherry's record of safety and respect in hockey speaks for itself," said Sherali Najak, producer of Coach's Corner.

"Everything from championing on-ice rules and equipment changes to leading the stop sign campaign, he has been the leader in teaching tough, smart hockey and promotes respect amongst players at every level.

"Everyone who has watched Don over the years knows this and any indication otherwise is misguided and a short-sighted misrepresentation of the facts."

KEVIN.CONNOR@SUNMEDIA.CA


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