Analyst, Men's Hockey | Sochi 2014
Analyst | CBC's Hockey Night in Canada
A mainstay of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Don Cherry first appeared on the program in 1980 in a segment called Coach's Corner. In what has become an important tradition for Canadian hockey fans, Cherry has been appearing on Coach's Corner alongside host Ron MacLean since 1987, staying true to form with his candid and often controversial - but always entertaining - comments.
Born in Kingston, Ontario, Cherry played hockey for the Barrie Flyers as a teenager and turned pro with the Hershey Bears in the 1954-55 season. In 1955 he played one playoff game with the Boston Bruins. He spent the next 16 years in the minors, being sent from the Eastern League to the Western League, from the American League to small-town Canada.
Cherry retired in his mid-30's, worked in construction, sold cars and then returned to hockey. In a storybook comeback, he made the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans as a defenseman in 1971-72 and by mid-season, was named coach. Fired for being too friendly with the players, Cherry was popular with fans and the media alike and was re-hired. He was named AHL Coach of the Year for the 1973-74 season.
In 1974, he was hired as head coach of the Boston Bruins. Cherry's Bruins finished first in their division four seasons in a row and he was named the NHL Coach of the Year in the 1975-76 season. That same year, he was named assistant coach of Team Canada.
In 1979, Cherry's stint as the Bruins' head coach came to an end and he was hired by the Colorado Rockies for the 1979-80 season.
Cherry was the fastest coach in NHL history to reach the 250-win plateau and ranks fifth in winning percentage among coaches with more than 400 games behind the bench.
He was also the subject of the popular mini-series Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story and The Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II, chronicling the life and times of the legendary hockey coach and analyst.