Manitoba Junior Hockey League

Manitoba Junior Hockey League
Current season or competition:
2019–20 MJHL season
CommissionerKevin Saurette
Former name(s)Winnipeg and District League
No. of teams11
ChampionshipTurnbull Cup
Associated Title(s)ANAVET Cup
Centennial Cup
Recent ChampionsPortage Terriers
Most successful clubWinnipeg Blues (17)

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

The MJHL consists of 11 teams playing a balanced 60-game schedule, with the top eight teams qualifying for the playoffs. The quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final are determined by best-of-seven series. The playoff champion is awarded the Turnbull Cup.[1] The league had two divisions, Addison and Sherwood, prior to the 2014-15 season.[2][3]

The winner of the MJHL playoffs (Turnbull Cup) competes against the champion from Saskatchewan for the ANAVET Cup and a berth in the Centennial Cup (formerly known as the Royal Bank Cup).[4]



Early years

The league has a rich tradition. Its first year of operation was the 1918–19 season, making it the oldest junior league in Canada.[5] It was known as the Winnipeg and District League until 1931, when it became the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. During the inaugural season, there were nine teams in two divisions, each playing a six-game schedule. 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. 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.


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.


In the early 1960s, 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

1967 and 1968

During the summer of 1967, the MAHA agreed to allow three teams to enter the new 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 opted to join the new Central Manitoba Junior Hockey League (CMJHL). The very next year, the MJHL absorbed the CMJHL, creating a North Division to house the former CMJHL teams: the Steelers, Portage Terriers, Dauphin Kings, and Kenora Muskies, who had operated out of Fort Garry the previous year. The existing teams created the South Division.[6]

Japanese star

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


As the twenty first century dawned, the OCN Blizzard were dominating the MJHL, winning five straight MJHL championships from 1999 to 2003. This was a record previously achieved by only the legendary Elmwood Millionaires (1927–1931). 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.

As the Blizzard's dynasty came to an end, the Portage Terriers began their own golden age with a trip to the MJHL finals in 2003-04. The Terriers lost the series, but laid claim to the Turnbull Cup and ANAVET Cup titles the following season. This would start a run of nine championships over fifteen seasons, plus three ANAVET Cup wins and the 2015 national championship. Since relocating to Steinbach in 2009, the Steinbach Pistons have also been a dominant club, leading the regular season in points on three occasions, winning two Turnbull Cups, and the ANAVET Cup in 2018.

Terriers national championship season

The 2014-15 Terriers set a new league record for single-season winning percentage (.917) when they dominated the MJHL with a 53-3-4 record during the regular season and went undefeated in the playoffs to capture their ninth Turnbull Cup. The Terriers capped off their dream season by winning the 2015 Royal Bank Cup on home ice in Portage la Prairie.[7] The Terriers dominated again the following season, putting up an impressive 31-game winning streak on their way to a second consecutive Turnbull Cup.[8]

The league has remained stable at 11 teams since the demise of the St. James Canadians in 2003. Once dominated by Winnipeg-based clubs, the league now has only two in the Winnipeg Metro Region; the rest are spread through out the province's smaller cities and towns.

Neepawa hazing incident

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.[9]

Current teams

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 Stride Place 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 Oak Bluff, Manitoba The Rink Training Centre 1930

Turnbull Cup Champions

The Turnbull Memorial Trophy, also known as the Turnbull Cup, is awarded to the Manitoba Junior 'A' hockey champion (the winner of the MJHL playoffs) each season. Prior to the formation of the CJHL, rival Junior 'A' leagues operating in Manitoba periodically competed alongside the MJHL for the provincial championship. In such years, a playoff series between respective league champions determined the Turnbull Cup winner.

The trophy was donated in 1920 by the Winnipeg Hockey Club in honour of Walter James "Ollie" Turnbull, a captain in the 10th Brigade Canadian Field Artillery, killed in action during the First World War.[10] The trophy underwent a major refurbishment in 2018.[11]

For the Western regional playoffs, please go to the ANAVET Cup.
For the national championship, please go to the Centennial Cup.
Year Champion Runner-up
Winnipeg & District League Championship
1918 Selkirk Fishermen Fort Rouge Wanderers
1919 Winnipeg YMLC Winnipeg Pilgrims
Turnbull Cup (Memorial Cup Era)
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)[a]
1969 Dauphin Kings St. Boniface Saints
1970 Dauphin Kings St. James Canadians
Turnbull Cup (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)[b]
1981 St. Boniface Saints Thompson King Miners (NJHL)[b]
1982 Winnipeg South Blues Flin Flon Bombers (NJHL)[b]
1983 Dauphin Kings The Pas Huskies (NJHL)[b]
1984 Selkirk Steelers Flin Flon Bombers (NJHL)[b]
1985 Selkirk Steelers Thompson King Miners (NJHL)[b]
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
2015 Portage Terriers Steinbach Pistons
2016 Portage Terriers Steinbach Pistons
2017 Portage Terriers OCN Blizzard
2018 Steinbach Pistons Virden Oil Capitals
2019 Portage Terriers Swan Valley Stampeders
2020 No champion[c]
  1. ^ For the 1967-68 season, the MJHL champion played the Central Manitoba Junior Hockey League champion for the Turnbull Cup.
  2. ^ a b c d e f From 1980 to 1985, the MJHL champion played the NorMan Junior Hockey League champion for the Turnbull Cup.
  3. ^ The 2019-20 playoffs were cancelled midway through the first round of the playoffs in response to the coronavirus pandemic[12]

Post MJHL Playoffs


Since 1970-71, the Turnbull Cup champion has played the winner of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) playoffs (Credential Cup) for the ANAVET Cup. The winner of that series earns a berth in the Centennial Cup, the national Junior 'A' championship (known as the Royal Bank Cup from 1996 to 2018).

Prior to 1991, the ANAVET Cup champions advanced to the Abbott Cup against the winner of Doyle Cup with the winner going on to face the Eastern Canada champions for the national Junior 'A' title. Beginning in 1991, the national championship format was expanded to include both the ANAVET and Doyle Cup champions, after which the Abbott Cup series no longer was played and the champion was crowned from the results of the round robin part of the national championship until the Abbott Cup was formally retired in 1999.

Between 2013 and 2017, the ANAVET and Doyle Cups were replaced by a regional tournament known as the Western Canada Cup, which determined the two Western Canadian representatives at the national championship. No MJHL teams won the Western Canada Cup during its five-year run; however, the Dauphin Kings (2014) and Portage Terriers (2015) finished as runners-up to claim the second Western seed at the national championship.

Since the tournament format for the Centennial Cup began in 1985, MJHL clubs have hosted the national championship on three occasions: 1992 in Winnipeg, 2010 in Dauphin, and 2015 in Portage la Prairie.

Prior to the reorganization of Canadian junior hockey in 1970, the MJHL winner competed for the Memorial Cup, the Canadian Tier I 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

ANAVET Cup (1971–2012, 2017–present)

Western Canadian Junior Hockey Championships

Abbott Cup (1919–1970) Western Canadian Junior Championships

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

National Junior Hockey Championships

Memorial Cup (1919–1970) National Junior Championships

Centennial Cup (1971–1995, 2019–present) National Junior ‘A’ Championships

Royal Bank Cup (1996–2018) National Junior ‘A’ Championships

Awards and leaders

Individual awards



National Hockey League


Timeline of teams in the MJHL

Defunct teams

List of MJHL seasons

See also


  1. ^ "MJHL Rule Changes for 2016-2017" . 2016-06-13.
  2. ^ "MJHL Moves To One Division This Fall" . Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  3. ^ "In the MJHL, all Addison teams will now make the playoffs" . Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  4. ^ "Western Canada Cup Scrapped" . 2017-05-20.
  5. ^ "Unity through diversity" . CBC News. February 4, 2008.
  6. ^ Greatness: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - A History of the Portage Terriers
  7. ^ "Terriers end memorable regular season with a win" . Portage Daily Graphic. 2015-03-03.
  8. ^ "Pistons stop Terriers' win streak" . Brandon Sun. 2016-04-18.
  9. ^ "Hazed and now no place to play" . 2011-10-27.
  10. ^ "Canadian Virtual War Memorial-Walter James Turnbull" . Veterans Affairs Canada. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  11. ^ "Turnbull Trophy Undergoes Major Refurbishing" . MJHL. 2018-04-20.
  12. ^ "Hockey Canada statement in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)" . Hockey Canada. March 12, 2020.

External links

Categories: Manitoba Junior Hockey League | Hockey Manitoba | Junior ice hockey leagues in Canada | Canadian Junior Hockey League members

Information as of: 27.06.2020 06:52:49 CEST

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