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Doctor calls Don Cherry 'negative influence' in efforts to reduce concussions

REGINA - Don Cherry is being called "a negative influence" when it comes to efforts to reduce concussions in hockey.

Dr. Charles Tator, a Toronto neurosurgeon, made the comment in front of about 150 people at a Hockey Canada concussion seminar being held in Regina.

When questioned later by reporters, Tator said he'd like to see an end to the "aggressive, lack of respect" hockey style preached by Cherry.

The doctor said there's been too much emphasis on the "sock 'em, kill 'em type of hockey."

Tator says Cherry helped with a campaign many years ago to prevent broken necks and it would help if Cherry could now take a strong stand against hits to the head.

While Cherry is a long-time advocate of physical play in hockey, he's also championed rule and equipment initiatives to improve player safety.

He has also complained on air about the lack of respect among players as well as some hits that he considers dangerous.

Attempts to reach Cherry on Saturday were unsuccessful.

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