Skip to main content

Doug Berry

Doug Berry was a useless hockey player. That's not my assessment, but the assessment of his NHL coach.

Doug was playing with the Colorado Rockies during the tenure of Don Cherry's coaching range. "Grapes" said the following about Berry in his autobiography:

"Apart from being a useless hockey player, the kid had a distorted idea about the work ethic; he didn't think it existed!"

Berry was a member of the Colorado Rockies more because of his tie-ins with the city of Denver. Berry starred at the University of Denver for 3 seasons from 1975 through 1978. The Rockies manager Ray Miron selected the local star 38th overall in the 1977 Entry Draft.

Berry signed with Glen Sather's Edmonton Oilers when he turned pro in 1978, but once again became Colorado property when the WHA and NHL merged in 1979. Berry played most of the next season and a half in Denver, much to Cherry's chagrin.

"I was rapidly losing points with Miron," recollected Cherry "and I would lose still more watching a center named Doug Berry. After the workout I walked into Miron's office. 'This guy Berry, what's he doing here? He can't skate, he can't shoot, and he can't hit!' "

Miron refused to send Berry to the minors because he feared that Glen Sather would pluck him off of the waiver list. So the Rockies forced Cherry to keep using a player he really didn't want.

Berry played in 121 games, scoring 10 career goals and 33 assists for 43 points, before his poor play under Cherry finally saw him demoted to the minors. His stay in the minors was short though as he opted to join a German team. Berry's game wasn't suited for the North American pro ranks, but Berry enjoyed a long career in Europe. He retired in 1992 after 10 years over seas, 9 of which were spent in Germany.

By the way, I don't believe Cherry's assessment that Doug Berry could not skate. Skating was a prerequisite of any player of interest for Glen Sather, especially back in those days. Plus, Sather also showed interest in Doug's brother Ken. I never saw Doug Berry but I saw Ken Berry with Edmonton, Vancouver and the Canadian national team. He could really motor around the ice, and I bet Doug could too.

For a better understanding of how good Doug Berry was at the University of Denver, check out Berry's profile at LetsGoDU hockey blog.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M