A bunch of 'thugs?'

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

As far as Don Cherry is concerned, the Senators aren't dressed for success.

The television icon ranted on about the shabby dressing habits of the Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning on his popular Coach's Corner segment on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, saying it's no wonder both teams find themselves at the bottom of the standings given their homely haberdashery.

Cherry started off his segment with a clip of the Washington Capitals walking into the Bell Centre for Saturday night's game against the Canadiens in Montreal. The Caps, tops in the Southeast Division with an 18-10-3 record under coach Bruce Boudreau, were walking into the rink wearing suits and ties.

"Look at this, a first-place club. Boudreau's got them looking good. First place, smokin' along. Don't they look good? That's the way to dress when you're walking in and all the kids see ya," said Cherry.

He then cut to shots of the Lightning, last in the NHL with a 7-15-8 record, and the Senators, last in the Northeast Division with an 11-12-5 record, walking into Scotiabank Place for Saturday night's game, won 2-0 by the Senators.

The first shot was of Tampa defenceman Andrej Meszaros, talking on a telephone, and some teammates. He was wearing an open-necked shirt, a black jacket and a black toque.

"Now I'm gonna show ya two thugs. Look at this, this is Tampa, a last-place club. Don't they look like a bunch of thugs? Look at this guy, Meszaros. They're gonna steal your hubcaps," said Cherry.

Then there was a shot of Senators centre Mike Fisher walking into the rink -- dressed similarly to Meszaros.

"Wait until you see Ottawa. This is Ottawa walking in, another last-place club. Look, two thugs," said Cherry as the screen showed Fisher and Meszaros talking and laughing. "They're going to break into your car every time. Million-dollar guys. Aren't they a great example for kids?"

Fisher brushed off Cherry's comments.

"Our dress code hasn't changed in the nine years I've been here and we've been in first place for a lot of those years," said Fisher yesterday. "I haven't dressed differently. Some nights I wear a tie and some I don't.

"When it's cold, I'll throw a sweater over top. If you're wearing a trenchcoat you can't even tell anyway.

"Seeing some of his outfits, I don't know if he should be commenting."

Coach's Corner co-host Ron MacLean commented on the Senators stopping to talk to Meszaros, a former teammate. "One thing that is apparent is they love Meszaros," said MacLean.

"Yeah, they're going to have a love affair ... and that's the way they're playing," said Cherry.

" 'Oh, don't hit me.' Look at that. Isn't that sickening?"

Before the season, in a memo circulated to media who travel with the Senators, the team dress code on road trips was described as "business casual, i.e., minimum of sports jacket, dress pants, golf shirt and dress shoes.''


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