Rumor: Don Cherry will not return to HNIC.

The end of an era.

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This news will make some hockey fans very sad, this news will make some hockey fans very happy, but everyone reading this will be absolutely stunned out how this may be about to go down.

There are now very credible rumors suggesting that veteran voice of Coach's Corner on Hockey Night In Canada, Don Cherry, may have already hosted his final edition of the legendary hockey segment. Now to be crystal clear these are still rumors at this time but they are now being reported by 2 gentlemen who have established sources within the industry. The news first leaked out via infamous Toronto Sports reporter Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun.

From Simmonds:

One thing that hasn’t been confirmed for the next season of Hockey Night In Canada: the return of Don Cherry and Coach’s Corner. 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.

Simmons of course has been mocked for some of his dubious reporting on targets like Phil Kessel in the past, but he does have contacts in the industry and this seems like too big a piece of information for Simmons to have simply pulled it out of thin air. Additionally Simmons' report has now been backed up by another man who has broken stories as it pertains to the Toronto media before.

Jonah of has all but confirmed Simmons report, and has even indicated that Cherry may not be given a swan song next season for his retirement due to the need for cost cutting at Sportsnet. 

From Toronto Sports

Of all the names we heard that were going to be cut at Sportsnet HNIC, Donald S. Cherry was #1. Numerous sources told us that Grapes knew himself last year was his worst ever & with the need to cut costs Paramount we were told he had done his last game.

If true this would truly mark the end of an era in Canadian hockey, and it would frankly be a fairly poor way for Cherry to go out. Even his biggest detractors I'm sure would agree that the man has more than earned the right to, at the very least, have a chance to bid farewell to his loyal fan base on one final broadcast. It sounds like the financial realities at Sportsnet however may not allow that to happen.