The Carolina Hurricanes are having fun and not everyone is cool with it.
The Hurricanes play in a non-traditional hockey market and have had trouble drawing fans in the past, so they've decided to try some non-traditional tactics this year in an effort to up their "fun" and bring more people to the arena. Hey, it worked pretty well for the Vegas Golden Knights in their first season last year, right?
With that in mind, in an effort to somewhat rebrand the team and how they approach the game, Carolina has developed a new tradition of closing out home wins with some wild, choreographed team celebrations on the ice.
It started out as a very simple idea, but the celebrations have become more creative and elaborate as the season has gone on. And plenty of home wins for the Hurricanes, who currently hold a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, means that there have been plenty of celebrations.
They've already done human bowling:
They've done Duck, Duck, Goose (or Duck, Duck, Gray Duck if that's your thing):
They've done the limbo:
But one of their best celebrations of the year came earlier this week when they went full baseball:
Certain traditionalists have been crying and whining about the celebrations all year long, but the baseball one in particular seemed to strike a nerve with many in the anti-celly crowd.
This weekend, Hockey Night In Canada's Don Cherry decided it was time to weigh in, and he had some predictably strong thoughts against fun. More specifically, Cherry called the Canes "a bunch of jerks" for disrespecting the sanctity of hockey, or something like that.
It's rather ironic that Cherry, who wears bold and outrageous suits on a weekly basis, has such an issue with the Canes deviating from the norm for a fun expression of personality. It's also rather ironic that he chose to say "imagine Justin Williams doing something like that?" when Williams -- the current Canes captain -- is a driving force behind the trend and one of its biggest defenders.
But, for what it's worth, the Hurricanes don't seem too bothered by Cherry's comments. In fact, they've chosen to embrace the "bunch of jerks" brand and their fans have followed suit.
Lol they're chanting Bunch of Jerks at PNC with one minute left to play— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) February 17, 2019
It's only a matter of time before the Canes go all-in and start filling their team store with "Bunch of Jerks" merch.
Update (4 p.m. ET): The Canes have started filling their team store with "Bunch of Jerks" merch.