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Don Cherry's Hockey Stories, Part 2 Paperback – October 25, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor Canada (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385670052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385670050
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A high school dropout from Kingston, Ontario, 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

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It’s June 2010—the Stanley Cup finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers. Ron MacLean and I have been goin’ since April 8, every other night for two months.
It’s not bad. The first two series we do out of the CBC studio in Toronto. For the semifinals and finals, we are on the road.
Our first night on the road, we’re in Philadelphia. Ron and I have a few too many pops, kind of deliberately. The playoffs remind me of when I played: you come to camp in good shape, but you all get together the first night and have a session. You’d be good all summer, and then just before camp, you ruin it.
So about ten the next morning, Ron and I are in this cab and we’re bakin’, it’s so hot. We’re in our shirts and ties because we always travel that way in the States. (People at airports think we’re detectives, as there’s usually an older cop and a young cop.) I always think my shirts look good, but they’re murder in the summer. The cab, as usual, is so small my legs are jammed up against the front seat. Why is every American cab dirty and small, with no air-conditioning and windows that don’t roll down? And, of course, I’m on the side where the sun shines through.
And the extra pops don’t help. When will we ever learn?
Folks, this is not the glamorous life everybody thinks it is. There are ticket lines at the airport. And security lines. The customs guys always seem to be ticked off about something. You get to the hotel and the rooms aren’t ready. Eventually, you unpack (I’ve got tons to unpack and Ron seems to have nothing).
So here I am, sittin’ in this hot cab, thinkin’ all these things and feelin’ sorry for myself. I look at Ron and he says, “Never mind. Just think of the twelve cold ones we’ll have on ice for after the game tonight.”
I do. Everything is right with the world.
* * *
Still in the finals. Now we’re into Chicago, and we land. We’re walking through the tunnel between O’Hare Airport and the airport hotel. As we walk along the tunnel—and we’re the only ones in it—we come to a guy with a little organ, and he’s singin’. He really sounds great.
Ron says, “Isn’t that guy a wonderful singer?” and before I can say anything, he has dropped a fiver into the guy’s hat.
I say, “You jerk. That guy’s not singing. It’s a record. That’s Sam Cooke singing. The guy is only lip-synching.”
Ron says, “You know, you’re too cynical. You should wake up to the world. There aren’t people like that. You couldn’t be more wrong.”
So about four days later, we’re on our way back. Same tunnel. Same guy. Now the guy is letting on he’s playing a violin. He sounds like Stratovarigus, or whatever his name is. I drop a fiver into his hat as a reward for being such a good con artist.
Ron gets taken every time. He never passes a guy who needs a handout, no matter what. But he definitely does get taken a lot.
For instance, we’re in Anaheim one night, and after a few pops in the bar, we’re walkin’ back to the hotel. This guy comes up to us and gives us this song and dance.
“Can you guys help me out? I’ve spent all my money on the bar, and now don’t have any money for a taxi to get home. I was wondering if you guys could help me because now I’m over the limit, and I don’t want to drive my car.”
Believe it or not, Ron bites on this one and gives the guy twenty-five bucks to get home.
I say, “Are you nuts?”
He answers, “Yes, I know. He could be lying. But what if it was true? I would never forgive myself, and I’d feel so guilty if he drove and hurt somebody.”
Hoo boy.
* * *
It’s in Philly, right between the fifth and sixth games. We go out to a bar.
Now, usually, we stay in Ron’s room at night and have a twelvepack on ice and watch TV and have a few munchies and cheese and we have a grand time. But we figured this series is going to wind up pretty soon, so the night before the sixth game, we go out to a bar for a little celebration. Believe it or not, the bartender knows all about my Bruins back when I was coachin’ them against Philly’s Broad Street Bullies. He knows everything.
I know he’s not a phony because he remembers the one game—the second game of the semifinals—that we were up 3–0 and we blew a three-goal lead, with Bobby Clarke tyin’ it up with two minutes to go. He has it all down, and he remembers how Terry O’Reilly got the winner for us in the second overtime.
Ron, who not only gives money to guys who drink too much, tips bartenders—and waitresses—like he’s paying off the national debt. This time, he tips the guy fifty bucks.
I say, “Hey, fifty bucks? What are you doing?”
He says, “Everybody’s gotta live.”
So on the way back to our hotel, we’re strollin’ along, feelin’ no pain, and we see a young guy who is really down on his luck, and he has a little dog on a piece of rope with him.
Ron says to me as we cross an intersection, “Doesn’t it break your heart to see a young fellow like that? And isn’t it wonderful how that dog loves him and sticks with him?”
So we’re halfway across the intersection by now, and I say, “Well, if you feel that way, why don’t you go back and help him out?”
I was just kiddin’. It was just a joke. He says, “I’ll do that,” and he goes back and says to the young fella. “Don’t take this the wrong way. I just want to help you out a little. I want to give you a little something to help you out, you and your dog.” And he slips him a fifty as well. What a guy! He falls for everything.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
So if you are a hockey fan, this is a fun book to read.
Matthew Morine
In this book, Don Cherry takes a non-linear trip down memory lane with great stories about his career as a player, coach and commentator.
D. Buxman
If you love Don Cherry, former NHL & minor-league coach, you'll enjoy this book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Morine VINE VOICE on May 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Yes, I read two volumes of this book. The first one was excellent and the second one was just as excellent. The only downside to this text is the last section with the reflections of the kids, not that the kids did a bad job, but rather you just love hearing Don tell stories. For those in America, Don Cherry is a Canadian icon. He is one of the hosts of Hockey Night in Canada, and specifically the Coaches Corner section. He is a controversial character, but funny as come be. I still love his line before the Canada-USA gold medal game. "Ryan Miller is going to see more rubber than a dead skunk on a New York Highway." This is a great book. You get some insight information on the NHL and some of the traditions and unwritten rules of the game. Cherry was mostly a minor league player for years, and played one game in the NHL. He really struggled through life for a while, but now he is a huge deal in Canada. The stories are great in the book. They are short, and many of them just make you laugh out loud. So if you are a hockey fan, this is a fun book to read.
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By Monstermile on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I received Don Cherry's first book a couple of years ago as a gift and totally loved it! I couldn't put it down and found it easy to read and highly entertaining. When I heard that Don had released a followup book, I just had to have it. This 2nd book by Cherry lived up to my expectations and I found it every bit as entertaining and fun to read as his first book. Now, if you know Don from watching him on Coaches Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, then you know how he speaks/talks. His books are written exactly how he speaks. He actually states in his first book that he wanted his book(s) to make it seem as though you were listening to him tell his stores over a couple of "pops". So, if you are a card carrying member of the grammar police then this book is certainly not for you. Also, if you happen to be one of those people who worship political correctness, then you will also not enjoy this book and probably will just end up stressed and with your blood boiling. However, if you just enjoy reading/hearing stories about hockey from all eras, about various teams and players, with locations scattered throughout Canada and the United States, then this book is for you! If you are a hockey fan then you will find these stories from Don Cherry to be funny at times, serious at others, with some sadness scattered here and there. I highly recommend both of Don Cherry's books, but would suggest reading the first book before reading this one as it helps set the tone for the second book. A big Don Cherry thumbs up for sure!
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By V. Harwood on April 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you know Don Cherry from the hockey broadcasts you will love this book. Stories as only Don can tell them.
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By Almond lover on March 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fun read. Great stories and great reflections on Grapes career both as a player and coach. Great family stories as well
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don Cherry is a hockey icon in Canada. Living in America, I don’t see him often, but from what I’ve seen I’ve been quite impressed. As television is a communications medium, often style takes precedent over substance. We see that former players and coaches who turn analysts eventually morph into smooth and polished personalities, who are acting more than they are analyzing.

Don Cherry is a rare and welcome exception. He speaks from the heart, and not always eloquently. His honesty is what makes him endearing, and in this book you get honest stories from a man who has spent a lifetime in hockey. I found myself looking up a lot of the incidents and people mentioned, as I didn’t have the context. That still didn’t take anything away from the book for me, though.

As you may have read from other reviewers, the structure of this book is unique. There aren’t really any chapters. There are just short stories, and many of them. It is like sitting down with Grapes and hearing him sound off on everything about hockey, history, family and politics. All in all, a very entertaining read, with a refreshing change of pace in style.
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