Tonight, Ron MacLean opened his comments on Hockey Night in Canada by saying that "Coach's Corner" is no more after 34 years on the air.
Of course, that's because his long-time sidekick, former Boston Bruins coach Don Cherry, was fired on Remembrance Day after a xenophobic rant the previous weekend.
Maclean was in a pensive mood as he "unpacked his heart a little bit".
"We are all hurting," he told viewers. "I have collapsed 100 times this week, if not more. We're all disappointed. Bobby Orr is disappointed in me. Bobby, I'm disappointed in me."
MacLean also said that he's "struggled mightily to find the words" that he would say tonight, and didn't want to be "sanctimonious or righteous".
"This one plunged deeply into our hearts, right?" he stated. "You know why? Because it's about relationships."
MacLean noted that he apologized, which appeared to hockey fans to create a rift between him and Cherry.
He stated that there were steps that needed to be taken by Cherry after his comments on his final Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. But Cherry wouldn't do that.
"So he made his choice and I made mine. And then the next choice, which was a really hard choice—probably the sleepless nights all week are mostly about this: Don's my guy," MacLean said. "I'm in a foxhole with Don. I decided to go one way and he, another. And you say, okay, how can you choose principle over friendship?
"But I had to," he insisted. "You know, I thought a lot about falling on my sword, too. Then I thought no, but if I do that, I infer what happened was right somehow. Or that I'm going along to get along. Or that I'm going to just sit silently by or be a bystander again in a situation. And that, it just took the courage. Don taught me to stand, right? So I had to have the courage of my convictions."
MacLean emphasized that his actions don't say anything about his respect for or his judgement of Cherry.
"We honour what you've meant to the game, to the fact that you have been there for human beings and sentient beings," MacLean said.