In the first break on air at Hockey Night in Canada since Don Cherry's resignation, host Ron MacLean addressed viewers for nearly five minutes, saying, "We're all in pain."
"You know the story that Coach's Corner no longer exists, ”he said at the beginning of his monologue.
"I fell a hundred times this week, if not more," MacLean continued. "We are all disappointed."
He says he spent some time "reflecting".
"I've been thinking all week, listening to you and listening to you – I mean you're the viewer," he said.
SEE MORE INFORMATION:
Sportsnet says it is exploring new formats for the first break
MacLean touched on his friendship with Cherry, saying he tried to call his 85-year-old former co-host on Saturday morning "when we normally talk" but couldn't.
MacLean also apologized for not returning phone calls from journalists.
"I must apologize to all the journalists who called this week and I haven't returned the calls," he said. "I know you understand why."
The whiteness and privilege of hockey
He discussed the 9th of November Coach Area segment in which Cherry seemed to say that newcomers to Canada don't use poppies, implying they don't support veterans – comments that led Sportsnet to fire Cherry two days later.
"You … you love our way of life, love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a few dollars for a poppy or something," Cherry said on television.
"These guys paid for their way of life you like in Canada, and paid the biggest price."
Sportsnet said it "made divergent comments that do not represent our values or what we stand for."
MacLean apologized the day after Cherry's comments, saying he wished he had dealt with it differently.
On Saturday night, he spoke of choosing "principle over friendship."
"He buried me": Don Cherry says he's disappointed with co-host Ron MacLean
"There were measures that needed to be taken because of what Don had said and he didn't want to do them," MacLean said. "So he made his choice and I made mine."
Prior to the hockey game, MacLean had told viewers that he planned to approach Cherry's game during the first break.
MacLean opened Saturday's show saying there were "obviously mixed emotions" before the broadcast, calling it "the end of an era."
The first break featured 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame nominees, who are scheduled for an induction ceremony on Monday.
SEE MORE INFORMATION:
Why do the people Don Cherry discuss on "Canada Hockey Night" have such an impact
On Friday, Sportsnet said it is considering new directions for the long-term segment.
"We are taking the time to explore new formats in the first break," Sportsnet communications director Andrew Garas told The Canadian Press.
In an interview earlier this week, Cherry did not apologize for his comments, but said she would have chosen different words if she could do so again.
Earlier Saturday, Cherry talked about last week's events thanking her supporters.
“Again, I want to thank everyone who called by email who showed up at the house last week. It will take weeks to get back to everyone in person, so I'm again thanking everyone now, ”he tweeted.
Sometimes MacLean would address Cherry personally during the solo segment of Saturday night, saying, "Here I am, kind of getting up and taking that position. But that means nothing in terms of my respect for you or my judgment for you." you.
He ended the segment with: “I love you so much and we honor you tonight in this last conversation about Coach Area. "
– With files from Meghan Collie, The Canadian Press
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.