On last night’s edition of Coach’s Corner during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, legendary analyst Don Cherry was in classic form. Being St. Patrick’s Day and all, Cherry wore a bright green suit jacket adorned with shamrocks and a white and green striped tie. Looking’ good, Grapes!
Grapes covered a range of topics last night including Alex Ovechkin’s 600th NHL goal, Matt Duchene’s recent surge, blocking shots, Evander Kane and the recent uptick in fights across the NHL. Pretty standard Coach’s Corner fodder. Grapes’ last thought of the evening though went out to two young children children who were killed this past week. As Cherry honoured both Ryan McBeath and Roy Pejcinovski he struggled to keep his composure, his voice audibly shaking and his mouth unable to speak clearly. It was raw and emotional… frankly it was unlike we’ve ever seen Cherry before.
Watch for yourself:
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McBeath was a 17-year-old assistant captain with the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs in Red Deer, Alberta who was killed when his vehicle collided with a semi-truck on Alberta’s Highway 27.
Police are still investigating the crash but the area was reportedly blanketed with thick fog at the time of the collision.
As for Pejcinovski, the 15-year-old star goalie for the Don Mills Flyers AAA team in Ajax, Ontario was murdered, along with his mother and sister in a targeted attack.
Police have charged a 29-year-old man with second degree murder in the gruesome case. The man is believed to have been in a relationship with the Pejcinovski’s mother, but is reportedly not the father of the murdered children.
Wow… all we can say is rest in peace. We’re just as speechless as you, Grapes. RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
Now, this isn't the first time that Cherry has used his platform to spread awareness about injustices in Canada. Cherry will routinely memorialize fallen Canadian soldiers who have either died in combat or in training. The outspoken broadcaster clearly has a soft spot for Canada's armed services and shows a great deal of respect for those who fight for their country. But, let's not forget that Cherry is an avid supporter of minor hockey in Canada. These aren't crocodile tears... the death of these two boys hits Cherry in a big way. He's more than a blustery old man who appears on TV once a week, he's a proud minor hockey supporter and spends countless hours at the rink each year watching kids play, practice and develop.