Cherry urged the NHL to back a possible move to Hamilton during his Coach's Corner segment Wednesday night on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, saying the Southern Ontario area would capably support the team.
"The National Hockey League did the right thing going south and giving it a try," said Cherry. "I said if you could go back . . . I'd be careful in Atlanta and places like that where they don't love hockey. You've got to go where they love hockey.
"Go in Hamilton . . . I guarantee you, there's eight million people in the Golden Horseshoe that love hockey. Eight million. If Alberta can have two and B.C., there's eight million people there. ...
"I guarantee 16,500 in the seats. It will be a sellout every time in Hamilton as far as I'm concerned."
Balsillie signed a letter of intent to buy the cash-strapped Predators for US$220 million last month. He is scheduled to meet the league's board of governors later this month to get approval for the deal.