Perry began his playing career with Edmonton area junior league teams. He broke into professional hockey in 1950 with the Boston Olympics, and in 1954, he started a long tenure as player-coach with the New Haven Blades. Perry's teams were skilled, winning four league championships, but they gained a reputation for their physical play that often included fisticuffs. Perry retired from the ice in 1969 with over 600 points in excess of 1000 games at the blue line. He continued to coach the blades until 1972.
From 1972 until 1981, Perry coached the Saginaw Gears of the International Hockey League. He won three championships in four appearances in the Turner Cup Finals. In 1981, he was hired to coach the New Haven Nighthawks of the American Hockey League, but he held this position for only half a season before he replaced Parker MacDonald behind the Los Angeles Kings' bench. Just weeks into his tenure with the Kings, Perry was suspended for six games for ordering enforcer Paul Mulvey to leave the bench to join a fight.
Perry would guide the Kings to the playoffs in 1982, a postseason that included the famous Miracle on Manchester comeback against the Edmonton Oilers. However, he failed to make the playoffs in 1983 and was fired midway through the 1984 campaign.
NHL coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|Los Angeles Kings||1981–82||38||11||17||10||(32)||4th in Smythe||Lost in Division Finals|
|Los Angeles Kings||1982–83||80||27||41||12||66||5th in Smythe||Missed playoffs|
|Los Angeles Kings||1983–84||50||14||27||9||(37)||5th in Smythe||(fired)|
|Head coach of the Los Angeles Kings
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