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Old 09-14-2006, 10:41 PM   #554
Front 7, Please
Killericon's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alberta
Posts: 7,654


*Runs up to the Podium*

I totally forgot that I was after Slap.

Killericon selects Head Coach Don Cherry(Yea, yea, I know).

After the end of his playing career, Cherry struggled for a time as a Cadillac salesman and a construction worker. In the middle of the 1971-1972 season, Cherry became the coach of the AHL's Rochester Americans. After a successful three-year stint in Rochester, during which he received the award for being the AHL coach of the year, he was promoted to the NHL as head coach of the Boston Bruins.

Cherry quickly developed a reputation for being an eccentric, flamboyant coach who strongly encouraged physical play among his players. It has been alleged he modeled the Bruins' playing style after that of his dog, Blue, a feisty bull terrier. This approach worked as the Bruins, known as the "lunch-pail gang", were one of the NHL's best teams during the latter half of the 1970s, capturing the division title three times from 1977-79. The Bruins were able to defeat the rough Philadelphia Flyers twice in the playoffs under Cherry's tenure. The Bruins made the Stanley Cup finals twice, both times losing to their arch-rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, in both 1977 and 1978. Cherry won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 1976.

Cherry, who had an uneasy relationship with Bruins General Manager Harry Sinden, was fired by the Bruins after a critical coaching mistake during a 1979 playoff series against the Canadiens. Up by a goal with less than two minutes left in the seventh game, the Bruins were penalized for having too many men on the ice. The Canadiens scored the tying goal on the subsequent power play and ultimately won the game in overtime. Montreal went on to defeat the New York Rangers for their fourth straight Cup title.

Cherry went on to coach the Colorado Rockies the following season, but was unceremoniously dumped after one year due to a feud with the Rockies general manager. Cherry's hiring as head coach immediately rejuvenated the ailing franchise's fortunes and many believe that if Cherry had stayed on, the Rockies would have remained in Denver (they instead relocated to New Jersey). However, his outspokenness, plus General Manager Ray Miron's refusal to sign a capable goaltender beyond Hardy Astrom, hampered Cherry's efforts. Of course, Cherry didn't help things when, after watching a player ignore him and refuse to come off during a game, he reached over the boards and manhandled the offending player. His NHL career and the Rockies ended on a positive note when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 in the final game of the season. Years later, while commentating during the 2001 Stanley Cup final between the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils, Cherry recalled the experience of the Rockies' last game where he was wearing cowboy boots and after it ended, the Rockies players formed two lines so he could depart the ice between them while acknowledging the cheers of the crowd.

Cherry is the part-owner and the former coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga IceDogs. The IceDogs' first three seasons were difficult ones with the team winning a total of 16 games. Cherry took over coaching duties in the fourth season. During Cherry's one season as head coach of the Mississauga IceDogs, the team managed 11 victories (only a slight improvement) and failed to make the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Bronco LB 52 is on the clock.
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