Home » Don Cherry Hockey Redefining Canadian Hockey Culture

Don Cherry Hockey Redefining Canadian Hockey Culture

Don Cherry Hockey

Don Cherry Hockey is a former ice hockey player and coach known for his outspoken commentary on Hockey Night in Canada. With a career spanning over four decades, Cherry has become a polarizing figure in the hockey community.


Don Cherry Hockey is a name that has become synonymous with passion, controversy, and a love for the game. As a former player and coach, Cherry’s influence on ice hockey is undeniable. However, it is his colorful and often polarizing commentary on Hockey Night in Canada that has made him a household name in both Canada and the United States.


Over the course of his career, Cherry has gained a reputation for his unique and outspoken style, earning him a devoted following of fans and critics alike. We will explore the life and career of Don Cherry, diving into his early days as a player, his transition to coaching, and his controversial statements that have made headlines throughout the years.


1. The Rise Of Don Cherry


Don Cherry’s rise in the world of hockey has been nothing short of legendary. From his charismatic personality to his passionate commentary, Cherry has become an icon in the sport. Discover how this beloved figure has shaped the hockey landscape and captured the hearts of fans worldwide.

1.1 Early Life And Career

Don Cherry, a legendary figure in the world of ice hockey, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on February 5, 1934. As a young boy, Cherry’s passion for hockey was ignited, and he pursued it with unwavering determination. Growing up, he honed his skills on the local frozen ponds, showcasing his natural talent and love for the sport.

In his early career, Cherry faced numerous challenges. Nevertheless, his exceptional skill and dedication helped him climb the ranks quickly. He played junior hockey for various teams, eventually catching the attention of the Boston Bruins organization. In 1955, at the age of 21, Cherry signed his first professional contract, marking the beginning of his remarkable journey in the hockey world.

1.2 Hockey Night In Canada

Cherry’s rise to prominence escalated when he joined “Hockey Night in Canada” in 1980 as a television personality and commentator. This widely popular Canadian TV show brought him into the living rooms of millions of hockey fans every Saturday night. Known for his flamboyant personality and distinctive style, Cherry quickly became a household name.

Cherry’s charismatic on-air presence, combined with his deep knowledge of the sport, made him a fan favorite. He would often ruffle feathers with his unfiltered commentary, sharing his strong opinions on controversial events and player performances. Despite the occasional backlash, his passionate and authentic approach endeared him to many fans who appreciated his frankness and dedication to the game.

1.3 Controversial Style

Don Cherry’s unapologetic and controversial style added to his rise as a prominent figure in the hockey community. His outspoken nature, often dressed in flamboyant and sometimes eccentric suits, made him instantly recognizable. However, it was his willingness to be his true self that intrigued fans and drew attention to his persona.

While Cherry’s on-air presence and style won him a devoted following, it also brought him criticism and controversy. His no-holds-barred approach to commentary occasionally led to backlash and accusations of being divisive. Despite this, Cherry remained resilient and continued to champion the sport he loved, frame by frame, year by year.

Don Cherry Hockey  Redefining Canadian Hockey Culture

Credit: www.cbc.ca

2. Don Cherry’s Impact On Canadian Hockey

Don Cherry’s influence on Canadian hockey is undeniable, with his bold and unique personality leaving an indelible mark on the sport. His fearless commentary and iconic fashion choices have made him a beloved figure among fans.

Don Cherry is a legendary figure in the world of Canadian hockey, and his impact on the sport cannot be overstated. From changing the game itself to celebrating Canadian identity and influencing young players, Cherry’s contributions have left a lasting impression. In this section, we will explore these aspects in more detail.

2.1 Changing The Game

Don Cherry has played a pivotal role in changing the game of hockey in Canada. Through his work as a coach and commentator, he has challenged traditional norms and pushed the boundaries of the sport. Cherry’s emphasis on physicality and toughness has inspired a new generation of players to embrace a gritty style of play. Moreover, Cherry’s colorful personality and flamboyant style of dressing have brought excitement and entertainment to the game. Whether you love him or hate him, it’s undeniable that Cherry’s presence has made the game more vibrant and captivating for fans across the country.

2.2 Celebrating Canadian Identity

One of Don Cherry’s greatest contributions to Canadian hockey is his celebration of national identity. Cherry has always been a staunch advocate for Canadian players and values. He is known for voicing his support for players who embody hard work, grit, and determination – qualities that are often associated with Canadian hockey.

Cherry’s patriotism shines through in his iconic “Coach’s Corner” segment, where he proudly wears flamboyant suits adorned with maple leaves and other symbols of national pride. Through his colorful commentary and love for the game, Cherry has united the nation and reminded Canadians of their shared passion for hockey.

2.3 Influence On Young Players

Don Cherry’s influence extends beyond the rink and into the hearts and minds of young hockey players across the country. His dedication to the game and charismatic persona have inspired countless aspiring athletes to pursue their dreams. Cherry’s emphasis on hard work, discipline, and the importance of earning one’s place on the team has instilled valuable life lessons in young players. His infectious enthusiasm for the game and relentless pursuit of excellence serve as a powerful motivator for those looking to make their mark in the world of hockey.

In conclusion, Don Cherry’s impact on Canadian hockey is immeasurable. From changing the way the game is played to celebrating Canadian identity and inspiring the next generation of players, Cherry’s contributions have left an indelible mark. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying his enduring influence on the sport and its fans.

3. The Legacy Of Don Cherry

Don Cherry is one of the most iconic figures in the world of hockey, with a legacy that spans several decades. Throughout his career as a coach, commentator, and outspoken advocate for the game, Cherry has left an indelible mark on the sport and the culture surrounding it. Let’s explore some of the key aspects of his legacy.

3.1 Iconic Moments

Don Cherry’s career is filled with memorable and defining moments that have become part of hockey folklore. One such moment was Cherry’s famous “Rock ’em Sock ’em” series, which showcased the hard-hitting plays and fights that epitomize the physicality of the game. These highlight reels became a staple for fans, sparking excitement and inspiring admiration for players’ toughness.

Another iconic moment etched in the annals of hockey history is Cherry’s emotional speech during the 30th anniversary tribute to the Montreal Canadiens’ 1972 team. In his heartfelt address, Cherry paid homage to the team’s perseverance and unity, reminding fans of the enduring spirit that drives the game.

Furthermore, Cherry’s coaching career saw him lead the Boston Bruins to multiple successful seasons, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1977. His ability to motivate and instill a winning mentality in his players gained him respect and admiration throughout the hockey community.

3.2 Cultural Impact

Don Cherry’s impact on popular culture extends well beyond the hockey rink. His signature flamboyant and colorful suits, often adorned with eye-catching patterns, have become synonymous with his name. Cherry’s fashion choices have not only become a part of his brand but have also inspired a sense of individuality and style among hockey enthusiasts and even in the wider fashion world.

Moreover, Cherry’s charismatic and unapologetic personality has made him a beloved figure among fans. His passionate commentary, coupled with his no-nonsense approach, resonated with viewers and added an entertaining element to the sport. Cherry’s unique style of analysis, raw emotion, and catchy catchphrases became part of the fabric of watching hockey.

3.3 Criticism And Controversy

Throughout his career, Don Cherry has not been immune to controversy and criticism. While his unabashed opinions and unfiltered commentary won him many fans, they also attracted scrutiny and backlash. Cherry’s outspoken nature often led to heated debates about his views on various aspects of the game, including player behavior, politics, and social issues.

One notable controversy occurred when Cherry made a comment on national television criticizing Canadian immigrants for not wearing poppies during Remembrance Day. The incident sparked a firestorm of responses, ultimately leading to Cherry’s dismissal from his long-standing position as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada. This event highlighted the divisive nature of his remarks but also underlined the significant impact he had on the national conversation surrounding hockey and patriotism.

Despite the controversies, it is undeniable that Don Cherry’s legacy will forever be intertwined with the history of hockey. From his iconic moments on and off the ice to his cultural impact and the conversations he ignited, Cherry’s influence remains enduring and unforgettable.

Don Cherry Hockey  Redefining Canadian Hockey Culture

Credit: mcfarlandbooks.com

4. Cherry’s Contributions Beyond Hockey


4.1 Support For Veterans

Don Cherry’s contributions extend far beyond the ice rink, notably in his unwavering support for Canadian military veterans. Cherry has been a vocal advocate for veterans’ rights and has actively participated in numerous charitable initiatives aimed at honoring and assisting those who have served the country.

4.2 Philanthropic Work

Aside from his remarkable hockey career, Don Cherry is recognized for his extensive philanthropic endeavors. His dedication to various charitable causes has made a lasting impact, from fundraising for medical research to supporting underprivileged communities. Cherry’s philanthropy reflects his commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

4.3 Television Career

Don Cherry’s iconic television career is yet another testament to his significant contributions beyond the realm of hockey. As a beloved sportscaster and commentator, Cherry became a household name, captivating audiences with his unique style and passionate personality. His influence in the media sphere has left an indelible mark on the Canadian broadcasting landscape.

5. Don Cherry’s Enduring Influence

Don Cherry Hockey has left an indelible mark on the sport, and his influence continues to resonate in the hockey world. From his dedicated fan base to his distinctive style and enduring presence, Cherry has made a lasting impact.

5.1 Cherry’s Fan Base

Cherry’s charismatic personality and unabashed passion for hockey have garnered him a devoted fan base that spans generations. His colorful commentary and unwavering support for the game have earned him the loyalty of countless fans across the globe.

5.2 Cherry’s Style

Known for his flamboyant suits and unfiltered opinions, Cherry’s style set him apart as a charismatic and polarizing figure in the hockey world. His bold and unconventional approach to broadcasting made him a distinctive and iconic personality in the sport.

5.3 Cherry’s Continued Presence

Despite his departure from his long-running segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Cherry’s presence continues to be felt in the hockey community. His legacy endures through his impactful contributions to the sport and his continued involvement in various hockey-related endeavors.

Don Cherry Hockey  Redefining Canadian Hockey Culture

Credit: www.nytimes.com


Frequently Asked Questions 


Did Don Cherry Ever Play In The Nhl?

Yes, Don Cherry played in the NHL as a defenseman for the Boston Bruins.

What Happened With Don Cherry And Ron Maclean?

Don Cherry was fired from “Hockey Night in Canada” after making controversial remarks. Ron MacLean, his co-host, publicly apologized for not challenging those comments.

What Does Don Cherry Do Now?

Don Cherry is a Canadian ice hockey commentator and sports personality. After his departure from “Hockey Night in Canada,” he hosts the “Grapevine” podcast and remains active on social media. He also participates in various charitable and community activities, engaging with his fans.

Why Is Don Cherry A Great Canadian?

Don Cherry is a great Canadian for his passion for hockey and support of the troops. His colorful personality and dedication to community involvement have made him a beloved figure in Canadian culture. Through his work in sports broadcasting, Cherry has inspired and entertained countless Canadians.


Don Cherry’s impact on the world of hockey is undeniable. From his flamboyant personality to his candid commentary, he has left an indelible mark on the sport. Cherry’s controversial opinions and abrasive style have garnered both praise and criticism, but one thing is for certain – his passion for the game is unwavering.

As he hangs up his iconic suits, hockey fans will forever remember his colorful presence and unique perspective. Whether you loved him or loathed him, Don Cherry will forever be a larger-than-life figure in the hockey world.

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