By: Ryan Smithers
“They’re too young,” they said. “They’re ruining the game,” they said. “They’re a bunch of jerks.”
No, I’m serious. They are a bunch of jerks according to Hockey Night In Canada commentator Don Cherry, and it’s probably not for the reason you think.
After every home victory, the Carolina Hurricanes players participate in what they call a “Storm Surge.” The surge normally consists of a SKOL clap in the middle of the ice initiated by one of the players. Though every once in a while, they switch it up. Their biggest hits include bowling, the limbo, and the highly controversial walk-off home run. I’m well aware that home runs and hockey don’t mix, but see for yourself:
These never-before-seen celebrations have cooked up some strong opinions within the hockey community. The home run celly alone generated millions of views, egging on the thoughts of mainstream sports medias. ESPN commentators acknowledged the efforts the Canes made to try and make the game “more entertaining” for young fans. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d kick my own ash if I relied on ESPN for any hockey news. The perspectives of NHL media are what really matters here, and let me tell you, they weren’t pretty.
Don Cherry almost had a heart attack when he saw what the Hurricanes did. He was so triggered that he started burning through his exotic suit. I was about to bet money that he’d shed a tear. He didn’t cry a river, but it seemed like his rant could fill the Saint Lawrence. In simple terms, old man Cherry really let the Canes hear it.
“This is the National Hockey League. These guys to me are jerks. They better not do it in the playoffs. This is a joke. The rest of the guys, young men, expressing themselves for joy of winning. You don’t do this thing in professional hockey. What are these guys? Jerks or something? It’s absolutely ridiculous. I know all the broadcasters are afraid to say something. I know what I’m talking about. They’re still not drawing. They’re a bunch of jerks.”
We get it, Don. You’re 85 years old and have been around the league your whole life, but jeez. Did you miss the early bird special the day before? Did Tim Hortons spike your coffee? I sure hope so because that was just an embarrassment to the great country of Canada. The motive for the Canes’ actions couldn’t be more transparent. THIS IS FOR ENTERTAINMENT. This is about getting the fans involved. It’s about spreading the game of hockey to younger generations. Sure, some of their celebrations may be corny, but it’s for the sake of the game. It’s not a way to “brag” about winning as some may think.
In my opinion, the Hurricanes are geniuses for this. Specifically, captain Justin Williams. The Hurricanes basically played in front of ghosts year after year. Not a dime to their name. With a little bit of young talent and branding, they were able to get a jump start. It’s evident that these celebrations have given them a tad more attention than usual. People are actually going to their games just to see the Storm Surge. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s something that’s new and has never been done before. Even commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t mind. “I happened to talk to some of the players this morning about it, and we had a fun conversation. The players enjoy doing it. That’s important. The fans enjoy seeing it. To me, that’s the most important element as to what goes on after a game when there’s a win.”
So I guess the only ones hurt here are old men and Canadians? Yeah, we’ll go with that. I’m sure the Hurricanes don’t mind either as they continue to use the hate to fuel their tanks. As of right now, the Hurricanes stand at 36-23-7 with a total of 79 points. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens also hold at 79 points, but the Canes would win the tiebreaker. There’s plenty of games left and I can’t wait to see the Hurricanes find a way to unravel the rest of the year. But if they do manage to keep a playoff spot, I hope they Storm Surge on every suit Don Cherry owns.
It’s 2019. The future is now, old man.