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Don Cherry isn’t backing down, and neither are the Carolina Hurricanes.
The outspoken Hockey Night in Canada commentator famously called the Hurricanes a “bunch of jerks” in February because of their outrageous post-game celebrations after home wins.
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The ‘Storm Surge’ consisted of a post-game Viking clap led by the players, before some sort of choreographed stunt on the ice after home ice wins. Some of those stunts included a game of ‘duck, duck, goose,’ limbo, basketball, and even getting knocked out by Evander Holyfield.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) March 2, 2019
This doesn’t fit into Cherry’s old school values, of course, so he let them have it on the February 16 edition of Coach’s Corner.
Instead of backing down, the Hurricanes stepped it up, debuting “Bunch of Jerks” t-shirts shortly after.
We’re a bunch of jerks and we have the shirts to prove it.
Available later this week at The Eye. pic.twitter.com/TEefqETEau
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) February 17, 2019
The Canes not only made the playoffs, but have made some noise in the postseason, beating the Washington Capitals in seven games and sweeping the New York Islanders.
Though they stopped the post-game theatrics for the final few games of the season and haven’t continued the Storm Surge in the playoffs, they’ve used “bunch of jerks” as a rallying cry.
— PNC Arena (@PNCArena) May 1, 2019
THIS BUNCH OF JERKS IS HEADED TO THE EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL!!!
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) May 4, 2019
Still, Cherry is claiming victory. And he thinks their fans are a bunch of bandwagoners, too.
“They know it’s the wrong thing to do or they’d do it in the playoffs.
“The owner said ‘entertain the crowd,’ and they draw 13 to 14-thousand people. And these people that are here now, now [that the Hurricanes are] winning, are front-running fans as far as I’m concerned.
“That’s what they are, front-running fans.”
Here’s the video:
Don Cherry vs. the Hurricanes is the best rivalry of the playoffs 😂 pic.twitter.com/kC6UzbF7mx
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) May 5, 2019
There is some truth in Cherry’s claim, as the Hurricanes drew an average of just 14,322 fans for games in Carolina this season – the third-worst attendance in the league. Hard to blame them though, as the team hadn’t made the playoffs since 2009.
Carolina Hurricanes playoff results since 2002:
2002: Stanley Cup finalists
2006: Stanley Cup champions
2009: Conference finalists
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) May 4, 2019
“Hard not to embrace it though, isn’t it?” Ron MacLean asked Cherry.
“I don’t embrace nothin’!” Cherry fired back. “I said they looked like a bunch of jerks being a fish out of water, a bowling ball – this is professional hockey!”
“The fans there now, the 17 and 18-thousand, they’re front-runners. They’re there because they win, not because they act like fish.”
Ok Hurricanes, your move…
New Fans. Old Fans. We don't care.
Every jerk is welcome to join the #Canes family.
Available soon at The Eye. pic.twitter.com/oP6X39UGU5
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) May 6, 2019
Here’s a recap of every Storm Surge performed by the Hurricanes this season (look away, Don).
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