Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce the coaching staffs for the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game set for Wednesday January 23, 2019, hosted by the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels.
Making the move from broadcast to bench for the 24th annual showcase of the CHL’s top NHL Draft eligible prospects are members of Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team including host Ron MacLean and analyst Kelly Hrudey. Joining them are a pair of CHL alumni and former NHL stars in the province of Alberta including former Edmonton Oilers forward Dave Hunter and Calgary Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr. Rounding out the coaching staffs are current WHL bench bosses Brent Sutter of the host Rebels and Marc Habscheid of the Prince Albert Raiders.
MacLean will lead Team Cherry alongside Hunter and Sutter, with Hrudey assigned to Team Orr with Regehr and Habscheid.
“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League it is with great pride that we welcome Ron MacLean and Kelly Hrudey as head coaches of the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” said CHL President David Branch. “Their participation with alumni Dave Hunter and Robyn Regehr, and CHL coaches Brent Sutter and Marc Habscheid, will make this a special experience for the players and for the great hockey fans in Red Deer and across the province of Alberta.”
A Red Deer native, MacLean has been part of the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team since 1986. In 2014 he joined Sportsnet and began hosting the newly created Rogers Hometown Hockey which is in the midst of its fifth season. The multi Gemini Award winner was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, the Oakville Sports Hall of Fame in 2015, and received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2016. MacLean’s on-ice experience includes a successful officiating career working his way up to Level V certification with Hockey Canada.
Hrudey spent three seasons between-the-pipes for the Medicine Hat Tigers from 1978-81 and was a WHL Second Team All-Star his final year. The Edmonton native was chosen 38th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft starting a 15-year career that would also take him to the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks accumulating 677 games in the crease. Upon retirement, Hrudey became a full-time studio analyst with Hockey Night in Canada in 1998 and joined the Sportsnet broadcast team in 2014.
Hunter won three Stanley Cups with the Oilers in 1984, 1985, and 1987 playing parts of 10 NHL seasons with the organization. His career spanned 746 games between Edmonton, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Winnipeg Jets amassing 323 points after being originally chosen 17th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. The Petrolia, Ont., native played his major junior hockey with the Sudbury Wolves and is the older brother to Dale and Mark Hunter who currently serve as head coach and general manager of the OHL’s London Knights.
A member of Team Orr back in the 1998 showcase at Maple Leaf Gardens, Regehr would be selected 19th overall by the Colorado Avalanche later that season. The Rosthern, Sask., native spent three seasons with the Kamloops Blazers from 1996-99 and was a First Team All-Star his final year. He ranks first all-time in games played by a Flames defenceman with 826 and finished his career with 1,090 games which included stops in Buffalo and Los Angeles where he won the Stanley Cup in 2014 with the Kings one year before his retirement.
Sutter’s tenure with the Rebels began in 1999 as coach and general manager and in just his second season hoisted the Memorial Cup as champions of the 2000-01 season. He spent two seasons as head coach of the New Jersey Devils from 2007-09 highlighted by a franchise record 51-win campaign his second year, then spent three seasons with the Flames from 2009-12 before returning to Red Deer. As a player the native of Viking was one of six brothers to play in the NHL. Following a WHL playing career in Lethbridge, Sutter played 1,111 NHL games winning two Stanley Cups with the Islanders.
Habscheid currently leads the CHL’s top ranked Raiders serving behind the bench in Prince Albert for the fourth straight season. This season he’s poised to coach his 1000th WHL game with previous positions in Kamloops, Kelowna, Chilliwack, and Victoria. He won Coach of the Year honours in 2003 the same year he helped the Rockets hoist the Ed Chynoweth Cup, then won the Memorial Cup on home ice in 2004. The Swift Current, Sask., native played for the Saskatoon Blades from 1979-82 before playing parts of 11 NHL seasons beginning with the Oilers in 1981.
Support staff for the event include members of the host Rebels working with Team Cherry, and members of the Edmonton Oil Kings with Team Orr. The 40 players selected to compete in this event will be split into Team Cherry and Team Orr and will be announced in the coming weeks. The WHL will be represented by 16 players on the ice of the 40 participating, including six players who have been given ‘A’ ratings by NHL Central Scouting on their ‘Players to Watch’ List.
2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Staff:
Head Coach – Ron MacLean
Assistant Coach – Dave Hunter
Assistant Coach – Brent Sutter
Athletic Therapist – Terence Robertson
Trainer – Dave ‘Radar’ Horning
Head Coach – Kelly Hrudey
Assistant Coach – Robyn Regehr
Assistant Coach – Marc Habscheid
Athletic Therapist – Brian Cheeseman
Equipment Manager – Rogan Dean
MacLean becomes the 24th different head coach to participate in this event since 1996 with a list that already includes Hrudey who participated opposite Tiger Williams back in 2002. Don Cherry has been involved 17 times while fellow event builder Bobby Orr has coached 13 different times. Past coaches also include John Davidson (2005), Michel Bergeron and Pat Burns opposite Scotty Bowman and Jacques Demers (2007), Glenn Anderson and Grant Fuhr against Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon (2008), Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark (2011), Pat Quinn against Mark Recchi (2012), Mike McPhee (2013), Jim Peplinski against Tim Hunter (2014), Simon Gagne against Guy Chouinard (2017), and Eric Lindros (2018).
The 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner Sherwin-Williams, and CHL associate sponsors CIBC, Kia Canada, Cooper Tires, and Kubota Canada. The game will be broadcast live across Canada on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, and in the United States on NHL Network.
Tickets are still available and can be purchased via reddeerrebels.com or ticketsalberta.com. For further ticket details please contact the Rebels office at 403-341-6000.
For more event information please visit http://sherwin-williamstopprospects.ca.
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About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.