Cherry spoke with Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Jim Lang and Mike Farwell for nine minutes on a variety of hockey topics, including 19-year-old Carolina Hurricanes prospect Ryan Murphy and the NHL lockout, which has wiped away the possibility of an 82-game season.
League commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA chief Donald Fehr both “need to look good,” but everybody is losing right now, Cherry said.
“I don’t get paid during the lockout, so I’m one of the casualties too,” Cherry said. “I think we’re going to lose a lot of fans.”
Cherry pinpointed Florida and Tampa Bay as two markets that will suffer as a result of the work stoppage: “It’s like we’re trying to commit suicide.”
A shortened season, Cherry suspects, will benefit a veteran team more than a younger one. The former coach said he believes an abbreviated season will begin around the end of this month – and a shortened campaign could help an average club like the Toronto Maple Leafs qualify for the postseason.
“I just cannot believe they’re going to wash out the whole thing. To lose all that money, that big pie, it’s ridiculous,” Cherry said. “(The Leafs) could go on a streak like they did in the first half (of 2011-12) and they’d be all right. But over the long haul, talent always ends up (succeeding), and the big teams come on in the end.”