Don Cherry

Don Cherry. He needs no introduction. He was a controversial and more successful coach. Then he became a very controversial and even more successful broadcaster.

But not everyone realizes he was once a NHL player.

Well, once being the key word. He played 16 professional seasons totalling about 1150 pro games, but just one time did he play in the National Hockey League.

"As a kid I prayed to God to make me a professional hockey player. I should have specified in the NHL," the man they call "Grapes" is fond of saying.

Hey, at least it was a Stanley Cup playoff game. And no one was more proud than Don Cherry's mother. She made him a whole bunch of home-made cookies and cakes. The Bruins kidded the rookie pretty good about that after the game. Imagine that - a rookie entering the dressing room carrying bags of cookies and cakes. They may have teased him about it, but they were also sure to help themselves. It's not certain that Cherry ever did get to taste any of those celebratory baked goods.

Had it not been for his reincarnation many years later as a successful coach and boisterous television personality that is probably what would be remembered about Don Cherry's NHL career - his mother's baking.


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