Manitoba Junior Hockey League

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Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Manitoba Junior Hockey League logo.svg
Countries Canada
Region(s) Manitoba
Commissioner Kim Davis
Former name(s) Winnipeg and District League
Founded 1918
No. of teams 11
Associated Title(s) Western Canada Cup
Royal Bank Cup
Recent Champions Winnipeg Blues
Most successful club Winnipeg Blues (17)
Website MJHLhockey.ca

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is a Junior 'A' ice hockey league operating in the Canadian province of Manitoba. The MJHL is one of eleven Junior 'A' Hockey Leagues in Canada and is a member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL).

The MJHL consists of 11 teams playing a balanced 60-game schedule, with ten teams qualifying for the playoffs. The top six teams qualify for the quarter-finals, while the seventh through tenth place teams play a best-of-three wildcard series to determine the final two berths. The quarter-final, semi-final, and final rounds are all best-of-seven series, with the champion being awarded the Turnbull Cup. Prior to the 2014-15 season, the league had two divisions, the Addison and Sherwood.[1][2]

The winner of the MJHL playoffs (Turnbull Cup) continues on to play in the Western Canada Cup tournament, where it competes against the champions from Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia for one of two berths in the Royal Bank Cup, the Junior "A" National Championship Tournament. From 1971 to 2012, the Manitoba champion would play in the Anavet Cup, a best-of-seven series against the champion of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, to determine who would play for the Royal Bank Cup.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The League has a rich tradition, first year of operation was the 1918–19 season, making it the oldest Junior League in Canada.[3] At first the junior league was known as the Winnipeg and District League, until 1931 when it became the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. In its first year, there were nine teams in two divisions. The teams included the Winnipeg Pilgrims, Elmwood, Grand Trunk Pacific, Winnipeg Tigers, Young Men's Lutheran Club, Winnipeg Argonauts, Selkirk Fishermen, Weston, and Winnipeg Monarchs. The first season consisted of each team playing six games. Over the years, more than 200 MJHL players have gone on to the National Hockey League (NHL), and 11 of those MJHL graduates have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame:

Andy Bathgate, Turk Broda, Art Coulter, Bobby Clarke, Charlie Gardiner, Bryan Hextall, Tom Johnson, Harry Oliver, Babe Pratt, Terry Sawchuk, and Jack Stewart.

1950s[edit]

In 1955, the brothers Art and Gordon Stratton of the Winnipeg Barons set a league record for most points in a single season with 76 each. In 1957, Ray Brunel of the St. Boniface Canadiens broke it with 105.

1960s[edit]

In the early sixties the powerhouse Brandon Wheat Kings - built by Jake Milford - won three titles in a row, and four in five years. In 1961 goalie Ernie Wakely of the Winnipeg Braves was named Canada's outstanding junior hockey player for the month of January. In 1962 Clarence Campbell president of the NHL attended inaugural Manitoba–Saskatchewan all-star game in Winnipeg.

In 1963 Jim Irving, captain of the Winnipeg Rangers, was named Manitoba's outstanding junior athlete and received the Carl Pederson Memorial Award.

Goaltender Wayne Stephenson led the Winnipeg Braves to the MJHL Championship in 1965. In 1967 future Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke of the Flin Flon Bombers set league records for most goals (71), assists (112), and points (183) in a single season. Clarke led the Bombers to win the MJHL title.

Modern era[edit]

1967 and 1968[edit]

During the summer of 1967, the MAHA agreed to allow three teams to enter the Western Hockey League (WCHL), the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Flin Flon Bombers from the MJHL, and the Ben Hatskin's owned Winnipeg Jets. Hatskin also owned three MJHL teams. Part of the agreement was the continuation of the MJHL. Hatskin sold his three teams to local interests. The Winnipeg Warriors became the West Kildonan North Stars, the St. James Braves became the St. James Canadians, and the Winnipeg Rangers became the St. Boniface Saints. These three teams along with the Winnipeg Monarchs became the new MJHL. The Selkirk Steelers, however joined the Central Manitoba Junior Hockey League (CMJHL). The very next year, the MJHL swallowed the CMJHL, creating a North Division to house all four teams, the Selkirk Steelers, Portage Terriers, Dauphin Kings, and Kenora Muskies (who operated out of Fort Garry the previous year). The existing teams created the South Division.

Japanese star[edit]

On September 19, 1968, the Winnipeg Monarchs announced the signing of Hiroshi Hori, a defenceman from Japan. Hori, a high school all-star in his homeland, would spend a year with the team and then return home to pass on what he had learned. A Canadian missionary to Japan, Father Moran was behind the idea. With CAHA approval, Moran convinced the Japanese Skating Union to sponsor one player to a year in Canada. The CAHA chose Winnipeg as the site because of the added experience from watching the Canadian National Team, and the Monarchs volunteered.

Butch Goring incident[edit]

On Sunday February 9, 1969, the MJHL held a special emergency meeting to discuss Butch Goring leaving the Winnipeg Jets of the WCHL and joining the Dauphin Kings. Goring played the night before in Kenora for the Kings during a regular season game. The MJHL gave the Kings approval to use Goring in regular season and playoff games. Goring was leading the WCHL in goals at the time. Monday, WCHL president Ron Butlin said a court injunction would be sought against Goring and another Jet forward Merv Haney from playing with the Dauphin Kings. Also saying the CHA would be "taking whatever action is necessary against Dauphin and the MAHA for damages." Goring and Haney would play for the Kings, all the way to the Western Memorial Cup Finals.

Swedish import[edit]

In September 1971, Winnipeg Monarchs President Bob Westmacott announced 17-year-old Stephan Lindberg of Sweden had been invited to training camp. Jack Bownass, former coach of Canada's national team, recommended Lindberg to the Monarchs.

The new MJHL[edit]

The Dauphin Kings were the first "dynasty" of the new MJHL, winning the league three out of four years, 1969, 1970, and 1972, and boasting such stars as Ron Low, Butch Goring, and Ron Chipperfield. The Kings went to the Western Memorial Cup final in 1969, and in 1972 recorded 40 wins, a modern day MJHL record. Charlie Simmer of the Kenora Muskies won the scoring title in 1973, the same year the Portage Terriers were crowned National Champs, winning the Centennial Cup. In 1974, the Selkirk Steelers won the national crown, giving the MJHL back to back "Canadian Championships". It was players such as Low, Goring, Chipperfield, Simmer, Chuck Arnason, Murray Bannerman, Paul Baxter, John Bednarski, Rick Blight, Dan Bonar, Brian Engblom, Glen Hanlon, Bob Joyce, Barry Legge, Perry Miller, Chris Oddleifson, Curt Ridley, Rick St. Croix, Blaine Stoughton, and Andy Van Hellemond who gave the new MJHL its foundation.

Selkirk Steelers domination[edit]

The Selkirk Steelers dominated, between 1974 and 1987, winning eight MJHL championships, including three in a row. The 1974 Steelers were inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, as were the 1973 Portage Terriers. In 1975, Jim Misener of the Dauphin Kings led the league in goals with 73, breaking Bobby Clarke's single season record of 71. In 1977, the Dauphin Kings won their fourth MJHL title in a decade, led by Misener who became the MJHL career leader in goals, assists, and points.

Chris Walby incident[edit]

On April 5, 1977, MJHL commissioner Bill Addison called off the Turnbull Cup Finals between the Dauphin Kings and Kildonan North Stars, saying "No, I am not going to allow these characters an opportunity to beat on each other any longer. I am calling the series (a best-of-seven) and awarding it to Dauphin on the basis they won two of the three games completed." The decision came just hours after the two clubs had engaged in a pre-game brawl, in which two Kings players were taken to hospital and two North Stars were criminally charged. Chris Walby was convicted of common assault, and granted a conditional discharge. The CAHA was not as kind, suspending Walby for life.

1980s and 1990s[edit]

Grant Ledyard led the Winnipeg South Blues to the first of four MJHL Championships in 8 years in 1982. In 1983, Mike Ridley of the St. Boniface Saints broke both Jim Misener's goal scoring record and Bobby Clarke's points record. In 95, Cory Cyrenne of the Saints was chosen Canadian Junior A Hockey League (CJAHL) Player of the Year, and the Winnipeg South Blues won their fifth championship, on their road to a second Anavet Cup, and an Abbott Cup. The 1995 Blues were inducted into Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. In 1998, Jedd Crumb of the Blues led the CJAHL in goals with 61.

OCN Blizzard[edit]

Then came the OCN Blizzard, who won five straight MJHL championships. Only the legendary Elmwood Millionaires (1927–1931) had ever won five in a row. Junior Lessard of the Portage Terriers was named CJAHL Player of the Year in 2000. Blizzard goaltenders Preston McKay (1998) and Marc Andre Leclerc (2001) led the CJAHL in goals against average, and left winger Andrew Coates (2003) led in goals. In 2004, Aaron Starr of the Blizzard became the first MJHL player to lead the CJAHL in scoring with 118 points.

Neepawa hazing incident[edit]

In October 2011, the Neepawa Natives reported a hazing incident to Kim Davis, MJHL Commissioner. After an investigation, Davis confirmed that a 15-year-old player had come forward with allegations of sexual-based rookie hazing in the Natives' locker room. A record $5000 fine and 18 suspensions resulted from the incident. The Natives gained even more negative press by benching and refusing to release or trade the 15-year-old who brought the issue to light.[4]

Current teams[edit]

Team Locations (including former divisional alignment)
Team City Arena Joined
Dauphin Kings Dauphin, Manitoba Credit Union Place 1967
Neepawa Natives Neepawa, Manitoba Yellowhead Centre 1989
OCN Blizzard The Pas, Manitoba Gordon Lathlin Memorial Centre 1996
Portage Terriers Portage la Prairie, Manitoba Portage Credit Union Centre 1942
Selkirk Steelers Selkirk, Manitoba Selkirk Recreation Complex 1966
Steinbach Pistons Steinbach, Manitoba T.G. Smith Centre 1988
Swan Valley Stampeders Swan River, Manitoba Swan River Centennial Arena 1999
Virden Oil Capitals Virden, Manitoba Tundra Oil & Gas Place 1956
Waywayseecappo Wolverines Waywayseecappo, Manitoba Waywayseecappo Wolverines Complex 1999
Winkler Flyers Winkler, Manitoba Winkler Arena 1980
Winnipeg Blues Winnipeg, Manitoba MTS Iceplex 1930

Turnbull Cup Champions[edit]

The Turnbull Cup
For the Western Regional playoffs, please go to the Western Canada Cup.
For the National Championship, please go to the 2014 Royal Bank Cup.
Year League Champion League Runner-up
Memorial Cup Era
1918 Selkirk Fishermen Fort Rouge Wanderers
1919 Winnipeg YMLC Winnipeg Pilgrims
1920 Selkirk Fishermen Winnipeg YMLC
1921 Winnipeg Falcons Portage la Prairie
1922 University of Manitoba Brandon
1923 University of Manitoba Brandon
1924 Winnipeg Tammany Tigers Dauphin
1925 University of Manitoba Portage la Prairie Vics
1926 Winnipeg Tammany Tigers Portage la Prairie Vics
1927 Elmwood Millionaires Dauphin
1928 Elmwood Millionaires Neepawa
1929 Elmwood Millionaires Birtle-Minnedosa
1930 Elmwood Millionaires Brandon
1931 Elmwood Millionaires Winnipeg Monarchs
1932 Winnipeg Monarchs Brandon
1933 Brandon Native Sons Winnipeg Winnipegs
1934 Kenora Thistles Brandon Native Sons
1935 Winnipeg Monarchs The Pas Huskies
1936 Elmwood Maple Leafs Emerson Aces
1937 Winnipeg Monarchs St. Boniface Seals
1938 St. Boniface Seals Winnipeg Monarchs
1939 Brandon Elks Winnipeg Monarchs
1940 Kenora Thistles Elmwood Maple Leafs
1941 Winnipeg Rangers East Kildonan Bisons
1942 Portage Terriers St. Boniface Athletics
1943 Winnipeg Rangers St. Boniface Athletics
1944 St. James Canadians St. Boniface Athletics
1945 Winnipeg Monarchs Winnipeg Esquires-Red Wings
1946 Winnipeg Monarchs Brandon Elks
1947 Brandon Elks Winnipeg Monarchs
1948 Winnipeg Monarchs Winnipeg Canadiens
1949 Brandon Wheat Kings Winnipeg Canadiens
1950 Brandon Wheat Kings
1951 Winnipeg Monarchs Brandon Wheat Kings
1952 Winnipeg Monarchs Brandon Wheat Kings
1953 St. Boniface Canadiens Brandon Wheat Kings
1954 St. Boniface Canadiens Brandon Wheat Kings
1955 Winnipeg Monarchs Winnipeg Barons
1956 St. Boniface Canadiens Winnipeg Monarchs
1957 Winnipeg Monarchs St. Boniface Canadiens
1958 St. Boniface Canadiens Winnipeg Monarchs
1959 Winnipeg Braves St. Boniface Canadiens
1960 Brandon Wheat Kings Winnipeg Rangers
1961 Winnipeg Rangers Brandon Wheat Kings
1962 Brandon Wheat Kings Winnipeg Monarchs
1963 Brandon Wheat Kings St. Boniface Canadiens
1964 Brandon Wheat Kings Fort Frances Royals
1965 Winnipeg Braves Winnipeg Monarchs
1966 Winnipeg Rangers Winnipeg Braves
1967 Flin Flon Bombers Brandon Wheat Kings
1968 St. James Canadians Selkirk Steelers (CMJHL)
1969 Dauphin Kings St. Boniface Saints
1970 Dauphin Kings St. James Canadians
Centennial Cup / Royal Bank Cup Era
1971 St. Boniface Saints Kenora Muskies
1972 Dauphin Kings West Kildonan North Stars
1973 Portage Terriers St. James Canadians
1974 Selkirk Steelers West Kildonan North Stars
1975 Selkirk Steelers West Kildonan North Stars
1976 Selkirk Steelers West Kildonan North Stars
1977 Dauphin Kings Kildonan North Stars
1978 Kildonan North Stars Dauphin Kings
1979 Selkirk Steelers Kildonan North Stars
1980 Selkirk Steelers Thompson King Miners (NJHL)
1981 St. Boniface Saints Thompson King Miners (NJHL)
1982 Winnipeg South Blues Flin Flon Bombers (NJHL)
1983 Dauphin Kings The Pas Huskies (NJHL)
1984 Selkirk Steelers Flin Flon Bombers (NJHL)
1985 Selkirk Steelers Thompson King Miners (NJHL)
1986 Winnipeg South Blues Selkirk Steelers
1987 Selkirk Steelers Winnipeg South Blues
1988 Winnipeg South Blues Portage Terriers
1989 Winnipeg South Blues Selkirk Steelers
1990 Portage Terriers Kildonan North Stars
1991 Winkler Flyers Winnipeg South Blues
1992 Winkler Flyers St. James Canadians
1993 Dauphin Kings St. Boniface Saints
1994 St. Boniface Saints Winkler Flyers
1995 Winnipeg South Blues Winkler Flyers
1996 St. James Canadians Neepawa Natives
1997 St. James Canadians OCN Blizzard
1998 Winkler Flyers St. James Canadians
1999 OCN Blizzard Winnipeg South Blues
2000 OCN Blizzard Winnipeg South Blues
2001 OCN Blizzard Winkler Flyers
2002 OCN Blizzard Winkler Flyers
2003 OCN Blizzard Southeast Blades
2004 Selkirk Steelers Portage Terriers
2005 Portage Terriers Selkirk Steelers
2006 Winnipeg South Blues OCN Blizzard
2007 Selkirk Steelers Dauphin Kings
2008 Portage Terriers Winnipeg Saints
2009 Portage Terriers Selkirk Steelers
2010 Dauphin Kings Winnipeg Saints
2011 Portage Terriers Selkirk Steelers
2012 Portage Terriers Winnipeg Saints
2013 Steinbach Pistons Dauphin Kings
2014 Winnipeg Blues Dauphin Kings

Post MJHL Playoffs[edit]

Formats[edit]

Since 2012-13, the winner of the MJHL playoffs (Turnbull Cup) has earned a berth in the Western Canada Cup, a five-team regional tournament featuring a host team and the league champions from the MJHL, Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League, and British Columbia Hockey League. The top two teams from this tournament qualify for the Royal Bank Cup, the national Junior 'A' tournament.

From 1971 to 2012, the Turnbull Cup champion would play the winner of SJHL playoffs (Credential Cup) for the Anavet Cup. From 1991 to 2012, the winner of that series would go to the Royal Bank Cup tournament (1991-94 Centennial Cup tournament). An Abbott Cup Champion was crowned from the results of the round robin part of this tournament until 1999, when the Cup was retired. Prior to 1991, the Anavet Cup Champions advanced to the Abbott Cup against the winner of AJHL/BCHL (Doyle Cup). With the winner going on to the Centennial Cup meeting the Eastern Canada Champions for the National Junior ‘A’ title.

Prior to 1971, the winner of the MJHL playoffs (Turnbull Cup) competed for the Abbott Cup (Western Canadian Junior Championship), and then the Memorial Cup for the National Junior Championship. These post MJHL playoffs were commonly known as the Memorial Cup playoffs. For the MJHL champions, the road was firstly the western semi-finals and finals for the (Abbott Cup), and then the Memorial Cup Finals. During this 53 year era (1918-1970), MJHL Teams won 18 Abbott Cups, and 11 Memorial Cups.

Manitoba/Saskatchewan Junior ‘A’ Hockey Championships[edit]

Anavet Cup (1971 to 2012)

Western Canadian Junior Hockey Championships[edit]

Abbott Cup (1919 to 1970) Western Canadian Junior Championships

Abbott Cup (1971 to 1999) Western Canadian Junior ‘A’ Championships

National Junior Hockey Championships[edit]

Memorial Cup (1919-1970) National Junior Championships

Centennial Trophy (1971 to 1990) National Junior ‘A’ Championships

Awards and leaders[edit]

Individual awards[edit]

Scholarships[edit]

Records[edit]

National Hockey League[edit]

Timeline of teams in the MJHL[edit]

  • 2012-Winnipeg Saints relocate to Virden and become the Virden Oil Capitals
  • 2011-Winnipeg Saints return to Winnipeg
  • 2010-Winnipeg South Blues become Winnipeg Blues; Winnipeg Saints relocate to St. Adolphe
  • 2009-Beausejour Blades relocate to Steinbach and become the Steinbach Pistons
  • 2007-Southeast Blades relocated to Beausejour and become the Beausejour Blades
  • 2003-St. James Canadians take one-year leave of absence and fold one year later
  • 2000-St. Boniface Saints relocate to St. Vital and become the Winnipeg Saints
  • 1999-Swan Valley Stampeders join league
  • 1999-Waywayseecappo Wolverines join league
  • 1996-OCN Blizzard join league
  • 1992-Southeast Thunderbirds relocate to Sakgeeng and became the Southeast Blades
  • 1990-Kildonan North Stars fold
  • 1989-Neepawa Natives join league
  • 1988-Southeast Thunderbirds join league; Steinbach Hawks fold
  • 1986-Thunder Bay Hornets fold
  • 1985-Steinbach Hawks join league; Thompson King Miners fold
  • 1984-Fort Garry Blues become the Winnipeg South Blues; Thunder Bay Hornets join league
  • 1982-Kenora Thistles fold
  • 1980-Winkler Flyers join league; Brandon Travellers fold
  • 1977-Assiniboine Park Monarchs relocate to Fort Garry and become the Fort Garry Blues
  • 1976-Winnipeg Monarchs become Assiniboine Park Monarchs
  • 1976-West Kildonan North Stars become Kildonan North Stars
  • 1975-Thompson King Miners join league; Kenora Muskies become the Kenora Thistles
  • 1973-Brandon Travellers join league
  • 1968-Kenora Muskies join league
  • 1967-Brandon Wheat Kings leave to join WCHL
  • 1967-Dauphin Kings join league
  • 1967-St. James Braves become the St. James Canadians
  • 1967-Winnipeg Rangers relocate to St. Boniface and become the St. Boniface Saints
  • 1967-Winnipeg Warriors relocate to Kildonan and become the West Kildonan North Stars
  • 1966-Selkirk Steelers join league; Winnipeg Braves become the St. James Braves; Brandon Wheat Kings rejoin league
  • 1964-St.Boniface Canadiens return to Winnipeg and become the Winnipeg Warriors; Brandon Wheat Kings leave to join SJHL
  • 1963-Fort Frances Royals join league for one season
  • 1959-Transcona Rangers return to Winnipeg and become the Winnipeg Rangers
  • 1958-Brandon Rangers relocate to Transcona and become the Trascona Rangers
  • 1957-Winnipeg Rangers relocate to Brandon and become the Brandon Rangers; Winnipeg Barons fold
  • 1956-Winnipeg Braves and Winnipeg Rangers join league
  • 1952-Winnipeg Canadians relocate to St.Boniface and become the St. Boniface Canadiens; Winnipeg Black Hawks become the Winnipeg Barons
  • 1947-Winnipeg Rangers become the Winnipeg Black Hawks
  • 1946-St. James Orioles relocate to Winnipeg and become the Winnipeg Canadians
  • 1945-St. James Canadians become St.James Orioles
  • 1942-Portage Terriers join league
  • 1940-Brandon Elks become the Brandon Wheat Kings; Kenora Thistles fold
  • 1939-Winnipeg Rangers join league
  • 1938-Brandon Wheat Kings become the Brandon Elks
  • 1936-St.James Canadians join league
  • 1931-Winnipeg & District League is re-named the Manitoba Junior Hockey League
  • 1930-Winnipeg Monarchs and Kenora Thistles join league
  • 1918-League is founded as the Winnipeg & District League

Defunct teams[edit]

List of MJHL seasons[edit]

Main article: List of MJHL seasons

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MJHL Moves To One Division This Fall". PortageOnline.com. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  2. ^ "In the MJHL, all Addison teams will now make the playoffs". ManitobaHockeyNews.com. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  3. ^ "Unity through diversity". CBC News. February 4, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Hazed and now no place to play". 2011-10-27. 

External links[edit]