Don Cherry is featured in the following program(s):
- HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA (HD) (Host)
The valour of his hero, Lord Nelson, at the Battle of Trafalgar taught Don Cherry to stand firm and to never give in - a lesson that would raise him from the minor leagues to prominence as one of hockey's best-known stars.
A mainstay of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry was born in Kingston, Ontario. As a teenager, he played hockey for the Barrie Flyers and 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.
He retired in his mid-30's, worked in construction, sold cars and then, returned to hockey. In a storybook comeback, Cherry made the Rochester Club as a defenseman. By mid-season, he was the Rookie Coach of the Year, and was fired several months later for being too friendly with the players. Popular with fans and the media, he was re-hired and named Coach of the Year in 1972 in the American League.
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.
During Game Seven of the Stanley Cup semi-final in 1979, the Bruins were penalized for having too many men on the ice. They lost when Yvon Lambert scored, in overtime, for the Montreal Canadiens. Cherry was subsequently fired. He had a .658 winning percentage with the Bruins.
He was hired by the Colorado Rockies and fired after one season (1979/80) when the team finished in last place.
Cherry was the fastest to 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.
In 1980, Cherry first appeared on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada with host Dave Hodge, in a segment called Coach's Corner.
Since 1987 in the Coach's Corner with host Ron MacLean, Cherry has stayed true to form with his candidness, often controversial and always entertaining comments.
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