"Even readers familiar with many of these tales will enjoy the way 'Grapes' spins a yarn. . . . He can move effortlessly from talking about hockey icon Maurice 'Rocket' Richard to why Don Marcotte of Cherry's Big Bad Bruins was a great checker, or jump from describing Canadian snooker world champion Cliff Thorburn to recalling conversations with hockey executive Wren Blair. . . . There are even some glimpses of Cherry beyond his bravado, describing nervously stumbling as a rookie broadcaster: 'The more I screwed up, the more the audience would laugh.' Fans are sure to be entertained." —Publishers Weekly
A high school dropout from Kingston, Ontario, DON CHERRY laced up with the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears in 1954 to begin what would be nearly a two-decade playing career. The 20-year-old rookie would jump to a number of minor league teams in the United States and Canada over the course of his 16 years on the ice, bringing his young family with him on more than 50 moves. After being fired from his role as Coach of the Boston Bruins in 1979, Cherry went on to coach the Colorado Rockies for one unsuccessful season. A chance appearance on Hockey Night in Canada impressed CBC officials enough for them to create a platform for the bombastic ex-player and coach. "Coach's Corner" would go on to court both controversy and high ratings, as hockey fans rushed to their televisions to take in his singular mix of game analysis, cultural commentary and playful parrying with host Ron MacLean. Cherry has parlayed his broadcast success into a line of popular videos, a chain of restaurants, a syndicated radio show and lucrative endorsements. In addition to these ventures he has spent the past few years raising funds for Rose Cherry's Home for Kids, a hospice for terminally-ill children. Named after his beloved wife, who died of cancer in June 1997, Don Cherry has passionately campaigned for the Milton, Ontario, hospice. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario.