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Don Cherry worried NHLPA will push NHL to brink in ongoing labour dispute

Don Cherry is shown on February 15, 2011, in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

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Don Cherry is shown on February 15, 2011, in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Don Cherry is worried the NHL Players' Association will push for more after the NHL's latest offer to end the lockout.

The Hockey Night in Canada commentator posted a series of messages to Twitter on Saturday night, relating a conversation he had with one of his friends.

"A few days ago I was talking to a buddy who wants to know what's gonna happen with the lockout," said Cherry from his verified Twitter account that has over 100,000 followers. "I tell him we're gonna see who really wants to end this and start the season.

"How come he asks? I said whoever puts in an offer will put himself in a sticky situation because the press and fans will think he has caved in."

Cherry then noted that on Friday the NHL submitted a nearly 300-page proposal to the union in an effort to end the 105-day lockout.

"Sure enough Bettman comes in with a new offer and yes it looks like he has weakened," said Cherry. "In the (Toronto) Sun it's front page and claims Bettman was pressured by the owners. I don't believe that."

The former head coach of the Boston Bruins and Colorado Rockies went on to discuss an article by Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch.

"Garrioch says an insider said it's not so much the pressure of the executives but it's more to save the season for the fans," said Cherry. "So (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman has put himself in a situation just made for (NHLPA executive director Donald) Fehr. He knew when he put in the offer this would happen.

"But I believe he did it to save the season."

Added Cherry: "Fehr naturally will say this isn't good enough and squeeze for more. But like I said 2 months ago after the association squeezes the last drop it will be settled. The only dark cloud I see is if the association pushes too hard we could go off a cliff."

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