[an error occurred while processing this directive] George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight | Don Cherry


Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

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Guest Don Cherry

At this point, entire generations of Canadians have grown up with Don Cherry, AKA, the most opinionated man in hockey.

But for all of his confidence and bluster, it's easy to forget that Don paid his dues. As a player, he spent almost his entire career in the minors - just one NHL appearance, in 1955. But it was while playing in the minors that Grapes met his beloved wife of more than 40 years - the late Rose Cherry.

And as it turns out, Don was a better hockey coach than a player. In the '70s, he led the Boston Bruins to two straight Stanley Cup finals, although, they lost both times to the Habs.

In 1980, another career change: he was hired by the CBC as a short-term, fill-in hockey analyst. Thirty-two years later, Don is still a fixture on Hockey Night in Canada, where he's generated controversy on everything from his views on European players, to the war in Iraq.

Throughout, Don has remained an outspoken advocate for tough, physical hockey. But as the game speeds up and serious injuries abound, is Don's brand of hockey out of step with the times? Or do we need it now, more than ever? And, what do you do when you become the target, as when critics have accused Don of crossing the line?

Well, if you want to understand Don, you might start with the TV movie about his life: 'Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II' begins this weekend on CBC. It's a look at Don's life as a broadcaster, and the difficulties that come with speaking your mind.

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