dean mcammond

Steve Downie goes on lengthy Twitter rant against Don Cherry and Arizona Coyotes

Former NHLer Steve Downie went on a lengthy Twitter rant on Friday night, taking aim at hockey commentator Don Cherry and the Arizona Coyotes organization.

Downie, who played parts of eight seasons with various teams in the NHL, criticized the culture of violence that he believes Cherry perpetuates through his Rock ‘Em Sock 'Em series of videos.

In response to some of his tweets, a fan tweeted an animation of Downie bodychecking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Dean McAmmond in 2007, a play that left McAmmond concussed and Downie suspended for 20 games. Downie retweeted the gif and then spoke about his regrets from the play.

“That hit is what happens when you watch don cherry rock em sock em videos from age 5 to 18. Nothing good comes from those vids,” said Downie from his verified account. “I just did what I had to do to play. I still think about what I did to Dean macomond and what I caused him to go through with his family.

"But again, I did what don cherry said to do every Saturday night. Just (expletive) disgusted when I look back. Wish I never played.”

Downie then added another tweet, criticizing Cherry for his stance against visors.

“Sorry Don, but you called me a (coward) for wearing a visor and trying to protect my eyes. Sad thing is I listened to you,” said Downie.

Downie was drafted 29th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in 2005. He played for the Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as 26 games with the Coyotes last season. In that time he scored 76 goals with 120 assists and 1,057 penalty minutes.

The 29-year-old Downie started with a series of tweets about the Coyotes’ handling of various players’ injuries and the treatment of veteran enforcer John Scott, who was voted into the NHL all-star game last season by fans but was traded by Arizona to the Montreal Canadiens and was briefly left out of the showcase by the NHL. Downie also added that the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes, who he briefly played for, are a better-run organization than the Coyotes.

He continued his rant on Saturday morning, comparing Arizona’s organization to the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I got a concussion with Arizona they don’t call or check up. They actually sent me to a knee doctor haha,” said Downie. “When I got a concussion in Philly i spent 3 days in the hospital bed. (Former Flyers chairman) Ed Snider came and sat next to me just to make sure I was doing OK.”

The Canadian Press