Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the Western Hockey League Kelowna Rockets Hockey Club and Home Hardware Stores Limited today announced that hockey icons Pat Quinn and Mark Recchi will serve as coaches for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game to be played February 1 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC.
Both Quinn and Recchi will be participating in the event for the first time with Quinn serving behind the bench for Team Orr, and Recchi for Team Cherry. Quinn’s Team Orr roster includes top prospects such as Team Russia World Junior Championship silver medalist Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts, and Team Canada bronze medalist Tanner Pearson of the Barrie Colts. Recchi’s Team Cherry roster also includes a pair of World Junior Championship medalists including Russia’s Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting, and Canada’s Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips.
"The Canadian Hockey League is very fortunate to have NHL legends Pat Quinn and Mark Recchi serve as Celebrity Coaches for the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game," commented CHL Vice-President and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. "We are very excited to have Pat and Mark share their NHL experiences with the 40 Top Prospects in the CHL during one of the most exciting hockey events being held in British Columbia this season."
Quinn’s NHL playing career began in 1968 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he also played for the Vancouver Canucks and the Atlanta Flames. He began coaching in the NHL in 1977, and has been behind the bench for Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, and most recently, the Edmonton Oilers. Quinn is a two time winner of the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year, and has also been a General Manager with Vancouver and Toronto. At the Junior level, Quinn has played, coached and is now in the ownership group of the Vancouver Giants. Not only does his name appear on the Memorial Cup as part of the Giants' win in 2007, but he also won the Memorial Cup as a player in 1963 with the Edmonton Oil Kings. Quinn won a gold medal as the coach of team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2009. Quinn has also coached Canada to an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002.
Recchi had an outstanding junior hockey career with the Kamloops Blazers where his number 8 was retired by the team shortly after he left for the NHL. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins (67th overall), first playing in the NHL in 1988, and was a key player in their Stanley Cup winning side in 1991, the first of three Stanley Cups. He played a total of 1,652 NHL games producing 1,533 points. His best NHL season was as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers where he set a single season franchise point record with 123 points in 1992-93. He won his second Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes before scoring his 500th career goal one season later on January 26, 2007, on a power play against the Dallas Stars as a Penguin. Recchi capped off a remarkable NHL career winning the Stanley Cup for the third time with the Boston Bruins last season. Recchi is part of the Kamloops Blazers ownership group together with majority owner Tom Gaglardi and former players Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan and Darryl Sydor.
The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is supported by title sponsor Home Hardware for the 13th straight year with associate sponsors Bank of Montreal, Subway, and CCM.
The game will be broadcast live to a national audience on Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Quebec beginning at 7:00 pm Pacific and available online through Sportsnet Radio the FAN 590.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)