Hockey

Tim Wharnsby - Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014 23:58 ET

Don Cherry, media darling in Russia

Russian reporters full of questions for Grapes

Don Cherry talking to a Russian reporter (CBC Sports)
Don Cherry talking to a Russian reporter in the Bolshoy Ice Palace.

SOCHI – Don Cherry has become a media darling in Russia.

In the handful of days he has been in Sochi, several Russian reporters have not been shy to approach the former Jack Adams winner for his opinion.

He has been asked about Russian team. He has been impressed. “They want revenge for 1972.”

He has been queried about the Canadian team. He likes the Canadians, too, “but they have to show they can play on the big ice.”

He has been asked what he thinks about his first trip to Russia.

“It’s pretty good now that all the communists have left,” Cherry said with a chuckle.

“Seriously, the place is a lot nicer and cleaner than I imagined. I thought they were always poor over here, women sweeping the streets, that sort of stuff. But it’s just like home.”

Cherry left home last Tuesday and turned 80 while the air. When he arrived for his connecting flight in Frankfurt, Germany, he and all the other passengers were informed they had to pay extra for a second piece of luggage, whether a suitcase or a carry-on bag.

Cherry’s carry-on cost him an extra €40 Euros. The problem was the Russian airline wouldn’t take Visa or Canadian or American dollars, only the currency of Euros.

Several of the other passengers overheard what had happened and they were quick to help him out. Cherry collected enough to board his plane.

“That was something else. I paid them back in Canadian,” he said.

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