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

Just Posted

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Father and son duo win Iron Man tournament at Alberni Golf Course

Forty men teed it up for the Iron Man tournament on Sunday

EDITORIAL: Issues, not pettiness, must drive election

Who do you trust? Is that what the latest federal election is going to chalk up to?

BIZ BEAT: Alberni Chamber of Commerce to host women in business forum

Jowsey’s partners with WCGH Foundation for fundraiser

ARTS AROUND: Colourful fundraiser headed to the Alberni Valley

Aché Brasil Dance troop is an explosion of colour, energy and music

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

Most Read