There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding a much talked about fight that took place last week between Toronto Maple Leafs bruiser Wayne Simmonds and veteran Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler, a player who had never before fought in his life.
For those who have been living under a rock, the fight took place in response to a knee on knee hit that Edler had delivered earlier to Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman, a hit that took Hyman out of the lineup for several weeks. Now everyone and their mother has shared their two cents on whether or not this fight was appropriate given the mismatch between the two men involved in it, but one National Hockey League commentator who had yet to do so was veteran analyst Don Cherry.
On Sunday Cherry shared his thoughts on the whole situation and he had a pretty interesting take on the incident, one he began by coming to the defense of Edler. Cherry made it quite clear that he does not believe there was any intent behind the hit that led to the injury to Hyman, likely believing it was entirely accidental.
"There's no way that Edler meant to hurt him, but it was a bang bang play but if I was on the other club..." said Cherry trailing off during his podcast.
Although many have been quick to argue that Edler should never have been forced to fight Simmonds, a player that clearly outmatched him in terms of both size and fighting acumen, Cherry disagreed arguing that players must be made to answer when they cause injuries on plays of this nature.
"I know a lot of people in Vancouver are upset about this but you have to answer the bell."
Cherry also seemed to praise the efforts of Edler in the fight itself. Although Edler was thoroughly dominated by Simmonds, Cherry seemed to respect the fact that he did a decent job of protecting himself for a guy who had never before been involved in a fight during his NHL career.
"He held on, he grabbed a hold, he did his best, he never had a fight before in his life."
Cherry also seemed to praise Simmonds for showing restraint during the exchange, feeling that the Leafs forward could have done considerably more damage had he so chosen.
"I think Simmonds let up on him a little bit."
Not everyone received praise from Cherry however. The veteran NHL analyst was left dumbfounded at the fact that the Canucks largely hung Edler out to dry, arguing that he should have been protected better while out on the ice.
"I have to question Vancouver."
"You would think Vancouver would have someone to help him," added Cherry."
All that being said though, it should come as no surprise that an old school type of guy like Don Cherry had an old school type of take on the whole affair. Cherry simply closed out his thoughts by stating that this is the nature of the sport.
"It's the way of the world in hockey."
No doubt a take that will resonate with many fans out there.
Photo Credit: Chris Wattie/Reuters