Don Cherry tells Canucks' John Tortorella to 'smarten up'

Hockey Night In Canada's Don Cherry and Ron MacLean make their way to centre stage during the...

Hockey Night In Canada's Don Cherry and Ron MacLean make their way to centre stage during the Hockey Day In Canada Celebration of Hockey Banquet on Feb. 8, 2013 in Peterborough. (Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:28 PM ET

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Don Cherry didn't go quietly into the night on Saturday.

During his final Coach's Corner segment of the regular season, the Hockey Night in Canada icon fired off on Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella, ordering him to "smarten up."

"Tortorella ... he's got to smarten up, stop yelling at the players," Cherry barked.

"When the camera's on him after a goal -- ya know, doing his act and everything -- quit yelling at the players."

In his first year behind the Canucks bench, Tortorella has led the team to a mediocre 35-34-11 record. Having scored less goals than all but one team, the lowly Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver will likely finish 12th in the Western Conference.

The Canucks are one of six Canadian franchises who failed to make the post-season in 2013-14. The club fired Mike Gillis, general manager since 2008, on Tuesday.

"His downfall was when he signed (goalie Cory) Schneider," Cherry said of Gillis. "When he signed Schneider and he has the other guy (Roberto Luongo) with a seven-year contract, he was doomed.

"Doomed. He put poison in the dressing room."

The 80-year-old pundit believes Gillis was rightfully fired because of the way he handled the much-publicized Schneider-Luongo drama.

On Saturday, Cherry wasn't all negative.

He endorsed two recent front office shakeups: Trevor Linden accepting a president of hockey operations position in Vancouver, and Brendan Shanahan joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as president/alternate governor.

"He knows what's going on," Cherry said of Linden, before stating the Shanahan hiring is a "great move" since he's a "heart and soul guy."


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