Fred "Bun" Cook was a popular left wing who compiled 302 points during an 11-year NHL career spent chiefly with the New York Rangers. He and brother Bill lined up on either side of center Frank Boucher to form the Bread Line, one of the most revered forward units in NHL history. Recognized as an innovator, Bun Cook has been credited with introducing and perfecting the drop pass.
A native of Kingston, Ontario, Cook first acquired a passion for the game between 1917 and 1920 when he played on the St. Marys, Regiopolis and Kingston junior clubs, followed by a stint with the Guelph Agricultural Club. In 1922-23, he joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the northern Ontario league, where he contributed to an Allan Cup championship the following season. Cook made his professional debut in 1924-25 with the Saskatoon Crescents of the Western Canada Hockey League.
In 1926 the Cook brothers were an integral part of the eastward move of talented players to the expansion New York Rangers. In 1927-28, teamed with Boucher, the Cooks were a key factor in the Rangers' first Stanley Cup championship.
Bun was less dangerous around the net than Bill, but he was no less determined, and his work ethic and ability to carve out a niche of his own despite being the brother of a hockey legend earned him respect throughout the league. He was a fan favorite at Madison Square Garden because of his dedication, and he did manage to finish among the league's top 10 scorers on three occasions.
Cook registered a personal high of 24 goals in 1929-30 and was selected to the NHL Second All_Star Team the next season. The 1932-33 campaign brought the Rangers their second Stanley Cup as the irrepressible Bread Line led the way. During the mid-1930s, the Cook brothers, along with fellow veterans Frank Boucher, Murray Murdoch and Ching Johnson, served as Lester Patrick's players' committee - the accepted team leaders who quelled a brewing controversy that had arisen in the dressing room when Patrick played his son Lynn on a regular basis. The dissent proved unjustified, as the junior Patrick was a useful young player on a team laden with veterans.
In 1935-36, Cook was forced to the sidelines as a result of an arthritic condition. Prior to the 1936-37 season, he was acquired by the Boston Bruins, with whom he played his final year. During his 11 years of NHL service, Cook was responsible for 158 goals and 302 points. During the post-season, he accumulated an additional 15 goals and 18 points for the Blueshirts.
After his playing career, Cook turned to coaching. As a rookie bench boss in 1937-38, he led the Providence Reds to the American Hockey League's Calder Cup championship, a feat he duplicated in 1939-40. In 1943-44, Cook moved behind the bench of the Cleveland Barons of the same league and guided that team to an incredible five Calder Cup triumphs before he retired from minor pro hockey in 1956. Cook went down in history as one of the most popular and successful coaches in AHL history.
Cook spent the 1956-57 schedule as coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. The following three seasons he steered the Kingston Frontenacs of the Eastern Professional Hockey League. Cook's outstanding hockey career came to a close in 1961, when he stepped down as coach of the Kingston Frontenacs.
Seven years after his death in 1988, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.