Coaching changes announced for BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

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by Jeff Hubert

January 2, 2014, Toronto, ON (ISN) – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Calgary native and Flames’ Stanley Cup champion Tim Hunter will serve as head coach of Team Orr in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game hosted by the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen on Wednesday January 15, 2014.

Hunter was previously announced as a member of the Team Cherry coaching staff but takes over behind the bench for Team Orr in place of Lanny McDonald who is unable to participate for personal reasons. Hunter played two WHL seasons with the Seattle Breakers from 1978-80 and was selected by the Atlanta Flames in the third round of the 1979 NHL Draft. He played 815 career NHL games over 16 seasons including 545 games in 11 seasons with his hometown Flames winning the Stanley Cup in 1989. Since his playing career ended, Hunter has spent 14 seasons as an NHL assistant coach most recently serving behind the bench with the Washington Capitals in 2012-13.

In addition, fellow Flames’ Stanley Cup champion Mark Hunter has been added as an assistant coach for Team Cherry. The London Knights’ General Manager played 628 NHL games over 12 seasons including 133 games with the Flames from 1988-91. Also added as assistant coaches are Sportsnet’s popular hockey analysts Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean who are taking their grudges away from the broadcast studio and are bringing them behind the bench for the second straight year. CHL graduate and former NHL player and Stanley Cup champion Kypreos will be assisting Team Cherry, while MacLean, a former NHL head coach and general manager, will join Team Orr.

The full Team Cherry coaching staff includes head coach Jim Peplinski with assistants Paul Reinhart, Mark Hunter, and Nick Kypreos, while Team Orr coaches include head coach Tim Hunter with assistants Mike Vernon, Joel Otto, and Doug MacLean.

Canadian National Junior Team members Sam Reinhart (Team Cherry) of the Kootenay Ice and Aaron Ekblad (Team Orr) of the Barrie Colts are among five players competing in the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game currently suiting up for their countries in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Team Cherry’s Ivan Barbashev of the Moncton Wildcats is also competing with Russia, while Team Orr’s Julius Honka of the Swift Current Broncos is playing for Finland, and Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders is a member of Team Germany.

The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by new title partner BMO, along with associate sponsors SUBWAY and Old Dutch. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports beginning at 7:00 pm Mountain time, and is also available on the NHL Network in the United States and on Sportsnet 960 The FAN.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-855-985-5000, or for Group Reservations please call 1-403-777-4646.

For more information about the event including some exciting promotions from title sponsor BMO please visit www.bmotopprospects.ca.

BMO and the Canadian Hockey League

BMO Financial Group and the Canadian Hockey League announced BMO as the Official Bank of the Canadian Hockey League in 2011. The four-year agreement also designates BMO as the Official Bank of each of the CHL’s member hockey leagues: the Ontario Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The sponsorship builds on BMO’s partnership with the CHL of more than 10 years and affirms BMO’s exclusivity as a financial services sponsor of the league in the retail banking category. It also engrains a presence with the 48 teams who currently participate in the BMO CHL Affinity MasterCard program, which enables CHL fans to support their favourite teams through a co-branded BMO/CHL credit card.

About BMO Financial Group

For more than 195 years, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment and corporate and social responsibility in the communities it serves. In 2012, BMO contributed more than $87.6 million in donations, sponsorships and events in Canada and the United States to groups, organizations and programs that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities.

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