Everyone was waiting to see what would happen on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night following the termination of National Hockey League legend Don Cherry, and we finally got out answer when Cherry's former co-host Ron MacLean took the airwaves, alone.
MacLean was the subject of major criticism this week after he seemingly turned his back on his longtime friend and co-host both when he issued a public statement condemning Cherry's comments on Coach's Corner and again when he made the decision to return to Hockey Night in Canada without Cherry. MacLean was also under fire for seemingly agreeing with the now infamous comments that Cherry had made during the controversial Remembrance Day segment last Saturday, nodding in approval and then giving his usual thumbs up at the end of the rant from Cherry. It was no doubt a rough week for MacLean and although I'm sure both he and the people at Rogers and Sportsnet were hoping that this apology would clear things up, I doubt anyone is going to walk away from this feeling very satisfied.
MacLean offered many platitudes during his speech in the first intermission of the matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening, and although he attempted to speak highly of Cherry his words rang hollow given the actions he had already taken during the week. Perhaps the most unpalatable moment however were two instances in which MacLean attempted to claim that this segment was designed to "honor" Cherry, something that clearly could not have been further from the truth. Nowhere during the segment did a single image of Cherry of the iconic Coach's Corner logo appear anywhere, any claim that this was somehow meant to be an honorific for Cherry rather than an attempt to save face from Hockey Night in Canada is frankly laughable in my opinion.
Unfortunately for MacLean I do not feel like this will be going over very well for him as people from both sides of this issue appear to be entirely unsatisfied with his monologue this evening. One gentleman, a veteran, shamed MacLean for refusing to stand by his friend Don Cherry and the comments he made.
Meanwhile another man, who clearly felt Cherry deserved his fate, took issue with the fact that MacLean did not address the comments themselves during that very same monologue.
These are just two examples among the thousands flooding social media this evening, and no doubt there will be thousands more before it is all said and done. You can check out MacLean's monologue yourselves in the short clip provided below.