Orr and Cherry to Coach the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

By League Press Release

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Hockey Hall of Fame member Bobby Orr and Hockey Night in Canada star Don Cherry will renew their head-to-head coaching rivalry at the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday January 14, 2009 in Oshawa, Ontario.  The game features 40 of the CHL’s top prospects eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and also includes a skills competition held on Tuesday January 13, 2009.

The 2009 event will be the 14th edition of the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.  Orr and Cherry will be competing together for the tenth time in event history.  The two were the very first coaches of the event and participated for six straight years beginning in 1996 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.  That year, Team Cherry would skate to a 9-3 win over Team Orr.  Team Orr currently enjoys a 6-3 edge in wins against his former coach.  Their last meeting was a 7-2 win in favour of Team Orr at the 2006 event in Ottawa, ON.  Cherry also participated without Orr back in 2005 and was victorious over coaching opponent John Davidson.  Following the 2006 contest the CHL presented the Don Cherry and Bobby Orr Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Trophy for the first time to the winning team.  Engraved on the award are the names of every player to ever participate in this prestigious event.

“The CHL is honoured to have the two builders of the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game return and participate in the 2009 event,” commented CHL President David Branch.  “Bobby and Don have been very instrumental in building up the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game as one of the season highlights for a CHL player in their draft year.  Their involvement will surely be exciting for the 40 players competing in the game” added Branch. 

Orr played 12 seasons in the NHL with the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks recording 915 points on 270 goals and 645 assists.  The native of Parry Sound, Ontario is an eight-time winner of the James Norris Trophy, which is awarded annually to the NHL’s top defenceman.  Orr, a member of two Bruin Stanley Cup winning teams, captured two NHL scoring titles and was selected as the winner of the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player three times.  In 1999 Orr, a graduate of the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals was selected to the MasterCard All-time CHL team.    

Cherry coached in the NHL with the Bruins and Colorado Rockies from 1974 to 1980 before he became a fan favourite on Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner.  Cherry coached Orr in his first season behind the Bruins bench and part of the 1975-76 season where Cherry won the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s Coach of the Year.  In 480 games as a NHL coach the native of Kingston, Ontario had a won-lost-tied record of 250-153-77.  Cherry played his junior hockey with the Barrie Flyers and he was a member of the Flyers’ 1953 Memorial Cup winning team.

This event will mark the second time both Orr and Cherry visit the General Motors Centre in Oshawa, ON together this season.  On November 27th the Generals hosted a special ceremony prior to their game in which they officially retired the number two jersey that Orr wore during his four year career with the Generals in the 1960’s.  Cherry was in attendance as a surprise guest and speaker at the ceremony.

The 40 players that will participate in the 2009 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be announced later this month.  

Tickets to the 2009 Home Hardware Top Prospects Skills Competition and Game will be sold together in one package at one price of $49 including all taxes and can be purchased in-person at the General Motors Centre Ticket Office.  Tickets may also be purchased online at www.generalmotorscentre.com or by phone at 1-877-436-8811.  More information can be found at the official event website:  http://homehardwaretopprospectsgame.com/