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Canadian Press
Jan 17, 2007, 8:04 PM EST


QUEBEC (CP) - There was no Don Cherry or Bobby Orr but there were plenty of familiar faces behind the benches at the Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night.

The host QMJHL went with four coaches: Scotty Bowman, Pat Burns, Michel Bergeron and Jacques Demers. In the past, Don Cherry and Bobby Orr have usually handled coaching duties for the annual showcase for NHL draft-eligible players.

Cherry and Bobby Orr are the usual Top Prospect coaches. But a spokesman for the Canadian Hockey League said the two were simply unavailable.

"It comes from (QMJHL president) Gilles Courteau's office," CHL spokesman Tim Van Overbeek said of the coaching choice. "They made a decision that they wanted to pick some coaches when the other two coaches weren't available. It was in Gilles Courteau's hands."

The last time Cherry didn't coach in the game was in 2002 in Saskatoon while John Davidson stepped in for Orr in 2005.

Van Overbeek said the decision to change coaches had nothing to do with fears that Cherry might not be welcomed by Quebec fans.

"Not at all. They were unavailable. Both of them."

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