Don Cherry blasted the Carolina Hurricanes for going beyond the traditional raised-stick salute to their fans after home wins, saying they were “a bunch of jerks.” The Hurricanes responded by selling “Bunch of Jerks” T-shirts. (File)

Don Cherry denies suggestion he may not return to Hockey Night in Canada

Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons had written Cherry’s return next season hadn’t been confirmed

Don Cherry says he isn’t moving on from “Coach’s Corner” just yet.

On Saturday, Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons wrote Cherry’s return next season hadn’t been confirmed. The colourful and often outspoken Cherry immediately took to social media to state he was told by his bosses at Sportsnet that he’d be returning next season.

Cherry emphatically reiterated in a telephone interview Monday that he’s not ready to retire from “Coach’s Corner.”

“Especially when (Sportsnet bosses) say they’re very happy and can hardly wait for next year,” Cherry said. “When the bosses say that to you, it makes you feel good.”

A Sportsnet spokesperson declined comment in an email.

Simmons briefly speculated on Cherry’s future in his column, writing: “Rogers is cutting all over the place, which included the removal of Bob McCown on radio and television and Doug MacLean doing the same. Cherry is handsomely compensated for his work. Not sure if this is a place they want to go with the 85-year-old.”

Cherry said he was “hurt and disappointed” that Simmons didn’t contact him.

“Had he called, I could’ve told him right off the bat,” Cherry said.

“I was told during the playoffs, ‘Well, we’re looking forward Don to next year,’ by the three bosses. They were happy with ‘Coach’s Corner’ and the whole deal and all of a sudden (Simmons) writes this, which was very disappointing. He’s got my number, he could’ve phoned and I would’ve told him that, it was no problem at all.”

Cherry — affectionately dubbed Grapes — has appeared on “Coach’s Corner,” with long-time sidekick Ron MacLean since 1986. He has become popular with fans and a Canadian icon for his eccentric suits, high collars and often candid, pointed opinions on all things hockey.

READ MORE: Victoria Cougars’ ‘Don Cherry’ inspired not to take life too seriously

The Kingston, Ont. native has also ruffled a lot of feathers with his sharp tongue and penchant for not mincing words.

The former Boston Bruins and Colorado Rockies head coach became the bane of the Carolina Hurricanes and their fans last season when he called the team “a bunch of jerks.” It was in response to the players doing their “Storm Surge” celebrations at centre ice when they raised their sticks to salute their supporters following home victories.

The Hurricanes embraced Cherry’s criticism by selling “Bunch of Jerks” T-shirts.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

Kwa’lilas Hotel wins award from TripAdvisor

The Kwa’lilas Hotel opened its doors to the public back in 2017.

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Alert Bay tested for COVID-19 antibodies, results prove efforts were effective

Just 3.7 per cent of people tested have the antibody

BC Parks acquires private land in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Land previously held by B.C. land and cattle mogul Rudy Nielsen

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

Most Read