Don Cherry loves to offer his opinion to any person willing to listen. When he was prompted on CBC's radio show about how long he thought the lockout would last, Cherry answered that he thinks odds are good that the entire season will be lost.
"If I'm betting, I'd say no [NHL season]," stated Cherry, as seen on CBC.ca's site.
Cherry later specified that he thinks the season will be lost if the lockout endures through January 1st.
It's worth noting that Cherry's "doomsday date" of January 1st is a month past the date other hockey experts have labeled as the point of no return. You'll find the beginning of December as the "doomsday date" put in place by most experts that believe if the lockout is still going strong at that point then we can all safely assume 2012-13 won't happen.
Later in the interview Cherry even defended commissioner Gary Bettman - a rare event given Cherry's fondness of criticizing the NHL commissioner. Cherry mentioned that all of the owners were in favor of the lockout and that this wasn't solely Bettman's fault. He finished by adding that if 20 owners approached Bettman and stated they wanted the lockout to end, it would end.
Cherry's views, as always, are debatable.
It's tough to envision the NHL still holding on to the hopes of playing a season in late December. An earlier "doomsday date" makes a lot more since. There will come a time where the NHL will say enough is enough and wipe the entire schedule clean. That time will likely come in November or perhaps early December, but it likely won't be delayed all the way until the end of December or January. We of course could be wrong (we hope we're wrong) but the signs are suggesting that if a deal isn't struck soon we can shovel the last bit of dirt on 2012-13's coffin.
Cherry's notion that a group of 20 owners could end the lockout is one that holds ground in the world of common sense but it lacks factual backing. Besides, we all know the NHL rarely deals in the world of common sense. Hypothetically, Bettman could end the lockout if such a group formed but he wouldn't be required to do so. As we've discussed on this site, Bettman only needs eight - yes, eight - of the 30 owners to vote against an agreement for the motion to fail. No one can predict what Bettman would do if such a situation would develop but he has the rules in place to stomp out such a movement if desired.
As always, take what you hear from Cherry with a giant boulder of salt. His opinions are typically as horrid as his fashion.
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As much as I hate to find myself in agreement with the man my buddy in Ottawa described as "Canada's National Idiot... and it's National Treasure", I'm going to have to do so this time. At my most optimistic, I figured a week or two in December for training camps, and starting on January 1 was the best case scenario this time around, and if that didn't go (and things like the Winter Classic went with it), we'd be looking at another no season. I'm even buying his comments on Bettman, in general. The owners may not all want exactly the same thing, but they want enough of the same things in general that they're going to continue backing Bettman as their front man for the foreseeable future.
@miendiem Honestly, it was strange writing a story about Cherry where his comments were coherent and based in reason. Possibly the first time I've ever said that about something he said.