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Don Cherry sticks up for suspended Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott

Saturday, 10.26.2013 / 9:25 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Don Cherry sticks up for suspended Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott

TORONTO - Don Cherry came to the defence of Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott on Saturday.

Scott was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Thursday pending a disciplinary hearing one day after his blindside hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson.

Cherry, speaking on the Coach's Corner segment of "Hockey Night in Canada," said Scott was under pressure to make a hit due to his limited ice time.

"Now here's a story. He sits there for 55 minutes. He's put on the ice. He's got to do something. He's got to do something or he's going to be gone. ... It's so unfair," said Cherry, who added he was once in the same position as a player who had to fight or not play at all.

Scott, who was issued a match penalty for charging, and was ejected after the hit on Eriksson in the neutral zone, played just five minutes 15 seconds in the 5-2 loss to Boston.

Cherry pointed to the 31-year-old's average time of ice with Minnesota in 2008-09, which was 9:14 in 20 games under coach Jacques Lemaire. The next season, Scott averaged 8:36 in 51 games.

The hockey commentator then turned the blame on Sabres coach Ron Rolston.

"He's got to play John Scott. Lemaire did it, Hall of Fame guy did it, and that's the way it should be," said Cherry.

Eriksson meanwhile is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Quote of the Day

I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday