AHLHOF

ahlhof_cook.jpgFollowing a storied playing career in the National Hockey League that earned him an honored place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Fred “Bun” Cook carved a legacy in the American Hockey League as the most prolific coach ever to work an AHL bench.

Cook was a popular player in the early days of the NHL, known as one-third of the famous Bread Line (with brother Bill Cook and Frank Boucher) with the New York Rangers in the 1920’s and 1930’s. He was also recognized as an early innovator in the evolution of the game of hockey, including helping to introduce the slap shot and the drop pass.

A native of Kingston, Ont., Cook retired in 1937 and became head coach of the AHL’s Providence Reds, leading the team to the Calder Cup championship in his first season. Two years later, Cook’s Reds won another Calder Cup, and in 1942, he coached the Eastern Division team in the first AHL All-Star Game, a benefit to raise funds for American and Canadian efforts in World War II. Cook also put himself back on the ice while in Providence, playing a total of 37 regular-season games during his six years with the Reds.

In 1943, Bun Cook took over for his brother Bill behind the bench of the Cleveland Barons and soon solidified his reputation as one of the most popular and successful teachers in the sport. His 13 seasons in Cleveland saw the Barons dominate as a perennial power in the AHL, including seven first-place finishes in the regular season and five more Calder Cup championships.

Cook retired from the AHL in 1956, following his 11th trip to the Calder Cup Finals. He led his team to the postseason in 18 of his 19 seasons and finished with a record of 636-413-122 (.595), still leaving him as the winningest head coach in league history. His incredible seven Calder Cup championships are by far the most ever by an AHL coach; no one else in league history has won more than three. Cook also ranks second all-time with 1,171 games coached and second with 75 postseason victories.

Cook passed away in 1988 at the age of 84, and was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995.

Career AHL Coaching Statistics – Fred "Bun" Cook
   
Regular Season
Playoffs
Season Team GP W L T Pts Pct Finish GP W L Pct Finish
1937-38 Providence Reds 48 25 16 7 57 .594 1st, East 7 5 2 .714 Won Calder Cup
1938-39 Providence Reds 54 21 22 11 53 .491 2nd, East 5 2 3 .400 Lost semifinal
1939-40 Providence Reds 54 27 19 8 62 .574 1st, East 8 6 2 .750 Won Calder Cup
1940-41 Providence Reds 56 31 21 4 66 .589 1st, East 4 1 3 .250 Lost semifinal
1941-42 Providence Reds 56 17 32 7 41 .366 4th, East -- -- -- -- DNQ
1942-43 Providence Reds 56 27 27 2 56 .500 5th 2 0 2 .000 Lost quarterfinal
1943-44 Cleveland Barons 54 33 14 7 73 .676 1st, West 11 4 7 .364 Lost Final
1944-45 Cleveland Barons 60 34 16 10 78 .650 1st, West 12 8 4 .667 Won Calder Cup
1945-46 Cleveland Barons 62 28 26 8 64 .516 3rd, West 12 7 5 .583 Lost Final
1946-47 Cleveland Barons 64 38 18 8 84 .656 1st, West 4 0 4 .000 Lost semifinal
1947-48 Cleveland Barons 68 43 13 12 98 .721 1st, West 9 8 1 .889 Won Calder Cup
1948-49 Cleveland Barons 68 41 21 6 88 .647 3rd, West 5 2 3 .400 Lost semifinal
1949-50 Cleveland Barons 70 45 15 10 100 .714 1st, West 9 4 5 .444 Lost Final
1950-51 Cleveland Barons 71 44 22 5 93 .655 1st, West 11 8 3 .727 Won Calder Cup
1951-52 Cleveland Barons 68 44 19 5 93 .684 2nd, West 5 2 3 .400 Lost quarterfinal
1952-53 Cleveland Barons 64 42 20 2 86 .672 1st 11 7 4 .636 Won Calder Cup
1953-54 Cleveland Barons 70 38 32 0 76 .543 3rd 9 7 2 .778 Won Calder Cup
1954-55 Cleveland Barons 64 32 29 3 67 .523 2nd 4 1 3 .250 Lost semifinal
1955-56 Cleveland Barons 64 26 31 7 59 .461 4th 8 3 5 .375 Lost Final
  AHL Totals 1171 636 413 122 1394 .595   136 75 61 .551