Every Saturday night Don Cherry speaks his mind on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada, and last Saturday, he chose to call out Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri for his suspension last week against the Minnesota Wild. In the first period of last Wednesday’s matchup between the Buds and Wild, Kadri ran over Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom on a play near the net. Backstrom left the game with injury. Subsequently, Kadri was penalized 3-games without pay by the NHL’s chief disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.
Regarding Kadri’s suspension, Cherry told HNIC viewers, one of whom was Nazem himself:
“You know I like this guy. How he could do what he did; hit the goaltender, he could have been suspended twice … Smarten up, Kadri. Nazem, you know what I think of you, but you played stupid. They could use you right now.”
Kadri was asked about Cherry’s scolding of him, and he told media the following:
“I know he’s always got my back. But every once in a while, you need a good kick in the behind. And I know Grandpa Grapes has always got me – so I’ll just take it as some words of encouragement, and some constructive criticism.”
Kadri serves the final game of his suspension tomorrow night when the New York Islanders visit the Air Canada Centre to take on the Maple Leafs.
WATCH: Courtesy of CBC, watch Don Cherry tell Nazem Kadri to “smarten up.”
Cherry isn’t the first to receive a nickname from Kadri:
@TSNBobMcKenzie false bobo
— Nazem Kadri (@43_Kadri) September 4, 2013