One of Canada’s most iconic hockey personalities made a pit stop in Oshawa.
Donald S. Cherry paid a visit Nov. 24 to sign copies of his book Don Cherry’s Sports Heroes at Chapters in the Oshawa Centre.
The book was released in October and looks back at some of the guests Don Cherry had on his past TV show, Grapevine, that aired starting in 1982 and ran for more than a decade. Cherry also takes you behind the scenes and shares some of his greatest stories of all time.
Opportunities to meet Cherry were slim. Only 120 spots were given out to meet the media legend and those people had to buy his book for access into the event.
Mark Green from Oshawa is grateful for getting the chance to meet one of his favorite personalities.
“He almost symbolizes Canada. So many people know who he is – watch him on TV. He knows everything about the game,” says Green. “He stands for the love of hockey.”
Shauna Guernsey, also from Oshawa, has fond memories of Cherry growing up and shined some light on what he meant to her family’s household as a child.
“He was a big name in our house growing up as a kid. My dad always watched and idolized him… We weren’t allowed to make any noise when he was on, we couldn’t even ruffle the bag of chips,” says Guernsey.
Don Cherry’s Sports Heroes is his fifth book. His previous book, Straight Up and Personal: The World According to Grapes, came out in 2014.
Cherry is publicly known for his years on Hockey Night in Canada with Ron MacLean. The pair has been teamed up since 1986 with their Coach’s Corner segment.
Before his time in TV, Cherry had a lengthy American Hockey League playing career, mostly with the Hershey Bears and Rochester Americans. He also won junior hockey’s most treasured prizes, a Memorial Cup, in 1953.
During the 1971-72 season, Cherry got his start as a coach, ironically, with the Rochester Americans. From there, he went on to coach the Boston Bruins from 1974-1978 and won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year in 1976. He also reached the Stanley Cup finals twice in back-to-back seasons.
Cherry’s teams won 231 of the 400 games he coached. His final coaching stint was with the Colorado Rockies before making the move to CBC in 1981.