By Allan Muir
Don Cherry’s critics are going to have a field day with this one.
Asked about the remarkable turnaround of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, the bombastic TV star offered up a unique take.
“Mike Milbury, I think, deserves a lot of credit here,” Cherry said on Toronto’s Fan 590 radio station. “He’s not getting it. He’d come on and he ripped Ovechkin – he should be ashamed of himself, boom boom boom, and called him every name – and that’s when Ovechkin changed.
“And if you people have noticed – and I haven’t said it on Hockey Night in Canada, I might yet – have you noticed after a game, he just gives it a [fist] pump?” Cherry asked. “Have you noticed that? Have you noticed he’s got nice short hair, he doesn’t look like a wild man anymore? Adam Oates has got to him and said look, get off this celebrity thing. And what happened was, he was more of a celebrity than he was a hockey player. He forgot.
“And you know, when I went to the Bruins, that’s the same thing happened to me — I got there, they had gold chains on and all that stuff, and they were celebrities there, they forgot to play hockey. They loved the life, they loved the travel, the only thing that got to them, they didn’t like the hockey. And you know, that’s what made Bobby Orr great, and I’ll tell you why: he had no businesses, he did nothing, all he wanted was to play hockey. And that’s the name of the game and Ovechkin’s right there now. He’s playing hockey instead of being a big-time celebrity.”