NHL needs Crosby as a Ranger: Grapes

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:13 PM ET

The always outspoken Don Cherry feels Sidney Crosby could "disappear" if drafted by a team from the U.S. sunbelt.

In the mind of the flamboyant star of Coach's Corner, the NHL would best be served by having Crosby take his highly-anticipated act to Broadway for the good of the NHL.

"I'm not saying I want him to go to New York," Cherry said. "But if you ask me where Crosby should go for the betterment of the league, the Rangers are the logical choice.

"You don't want him disappearing in some southern American city. I mean, just imagine how much more publicity Rick Nash would receive if he played in a bigger market.

"One of the problems with the NHL has been that teams like the Rangers and Los Angeles have not been in the finals enough. The league needs those big American cities in there.

"That's why I think New York would be the best place for him."

Armed with a new one-year contract to resume his role on Hockey Night In Canada, Cherry said the players made a mistake by underestimating the resolve of the owners during the lengthy NHL lockout.

"Someone should have read the owners better," he said. "When you call owners like Ed Snider and Jeremy Jacobs liars and cheaters, like Bobby Holik (with) his $9-million US salary, it's personal. I think the owners would have stayed out three years if they had to."

Cherry feels Toronto could be in trouble if management is not careful with its makeover.

"If they continue to lean on guys like (Alexei) Ponikarovsky and (Nik) Antropov, they are going to struggle," he said. "I don't understand why they play those guys so much."

So which team does Grapes feel will flourish under a new CBA?

"People might say 'Cherry is crazy for saying this,' but I think the Chicago Blackhawks will really benefit from the deal," he said. "They have a lot of good young players. And they didn't pay those guys much under the (previous) CBA, so they'll be in good shape under the new (salary cap)."

ROBINSON NO FAN

Larry Robinson is anxious for the NHL to return, but he doesn't think much of proposed rule changes.

"You're going to need a Harvard law degree to figure out what is a penalty and what isn't," he said.

Robinson added a startling statement for a man who was just named Thursday as the new coach of the New Jersey Devils: "If they bring in most of the stuff they say they're going to, I don't know if I want to come back and coach."


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