Don Cherry belonged to the Montreal Canadiens for a short time in the early 1960’s, until Sam Pollock took him aside one day and asked him to lay off the beer. Cherry said he wouldn’t and was promptly shipped to the Spokane Comets of the Western Hockey League where he played one season (68 games, 9 goals, 13 assists), before moving on to the Rochester Americans of the AHL.
This is Cherry, number 6, with the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens of the EPHL (Eastern Professional Hockey League) in an exhibition game against the Boston Bruins before the start of the 1962-63 season. Hull-Ottawa, a farm team of the Habs, supplied many, many players to the big club in those days. Don just wasn’t one of them.
I was at the library and saw Don Cherry’s new book called “Don Cherry’s Hockey Stories and Stuff,” so I decided to take it out. It’s a collection of very short stories, and much of it consists of Don’s experiences in the minor leagues.
Like this story. And don’t blame me, I’m only the messenger.
“It was the afternoon of a game in Calgary between the Spokane Comets and Calgary. We’re in the elevator – three players- and on the way down, two girls get on.
Well, the girls are laughin’ and gigglin’ and we know what’s happening. They’ve come from some players’ rooms. Let’s say they were not the nicest girls.
We don’t say nothin’. We’re on the way down and one guy there was very sensitive about his hair. He wore a fedora and he was bald.
One of the girls grabbed his hat and lifted it up and says, “Look, Sue, another baldy.”
Well, she embarrassed the guy. He was a good guy and, like I said, he was a very sensitive guy.
So I said to them, “Well girls, that’s the way the world is. That’s nature. He’s bald and he can’t help it. It’s like you. You’re pigs and you can’t help it.”