Cherry says Hurricanes fans are bandwagoners, stands by 'jerks' dig

Karl DeBlaker / National Hockey League / Getty

Don Cherry isn't backing down from his criticism of the Carolina Hurricanes, and now he's taking aim at their supporters.

On Saturday night during his "Coach's Corner" segment, the "Hockey Night in Canada" pundit began discussing the team by reiterating his disapproval over the regular-season "Storm Surge" and was baffled that his previous "bunch of jerks" criticism was adopted by the club as a rallying cry.

"I don't understand this. I said this up in Canada and it goes down in there," Cherry said. "And it's a funny thing. They know that it's the wrong thing to do or they'd do it in the playoffs."

The 85-year-old analyst then took a shot at the Hurricanes' attendance.

"I'm told the owner said, 'Entertain the crowd,' and they still draw 13-to-14,000 people," Cherry said. "And these people that are here now, now (that) they're winning (are) front-running fans as far as I'm concerned."

When asked by broadcast partner Ron MacLean whether it's hard not to enjoy it now, Cherry was dismissive.

"I don't embrace nothing," he answered. "I said they look like a bunch of jerks being a fish in the water, (miming) a bowling ball. This is professional hockey and no sport in the world does it except them. It came down from the top (that), 'I want to entertain the fans.' The fans there now, the 17-and-18,000, they're front-runners. They're there because they win. Not because they act like fish."

The Hurricanes fired back shortly thereafter, making a clear reference to Cherry based on the "Star Wars"-themed suit he was wearing during his segment.

After Cherry's original "bunch of jerks" comments in February, the team had T-shirts made and projected the phrase onto the ice after a win.

Cherry says Hurricanes fans are bandwagoners, stands by 'jerks' dig
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