Spotlight: Don Perry
By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
In this spotlight, we’ll feature Donald Frederick Perry. He was commonly known as Don Perry.
He was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. As he grew up, he played in the Edmonton area junior leagues. He was then successful in having a professional opportunity at the 1950 Boston Olympics.
This was a now defunct team for the Boston Bruins. Then, four-years later, he then was hired as a player and coach of the New Haven Blades in the Eastern Hockey League.
He helped the team to the 1956 championship. At the time, it was New Haven, Connecticut’s only professional sports championship.
Perry, while skilled, was mostly known for his fights. He then retired from a professional career in 1969.
He had more than 600 points in more than 1,000 games.
He then was the Blades coach until 1972 when he accepted a new position. Perry was the Saginaw Gears coach in the International Hockey League from 1972 through 1981.
During his tenure, he guided the team to two Turner Cup Championships in 1977 and 1981. Following the 1980-81 season, he was hired as the New Haven Nighthawks coach of the American Hockey League.
However, after just half a season, he parted ways with the team. He was hired by the Los Angeles Kings in the National Hockey League to replace Parker MacDonald.
Yet, a few weeks into his Kings tenure, he was suspended six games. He allegedly asked Paul Mulvey to leave the bench to get involved in a fight.
After 38 games, he guided the team to the playoffs. Perry was the head coach of the Kings in the Miracle on Manchester against the Edmonton Oilers.
This game saw the largest comeback in NHL playoff history. The team trailed the Oilers 5-0 in the third period, before losing 6-5 in overtime.
In his first full-season with the team, the Kings missed the playoffs. He guided the team to a 27-41-12 record through 80 games and had 66 points.
Then, through the 1983-84 season, he was fired 50 games in. He guided the team to a 14-27-9 record, before being let go.
Following his tenure as a Kings coach, he worked for the team as a Professional Scout for more than 10 season. He then retired in Hague-on-Lake-George, New York.
He died in Green Valley, Arizona in a nursing home on April 15, 2019. He was 89-years-old when he passed away.