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Canadian Junior A

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The Beginning
In reality, the CJHL received its start in 1970 when the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and Western Canada Hockey League tore away from the major branches of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and became its own governing body (what would become the Canadian Hockey League). These "Major Junior" Leagues only competed against each other and did not include other Junior "A" leagues that were left behind. The Major Junior League also were permitted to exclusively compete for the Memorial Cup, a right given to all Junior "A" leagues prior to 1970.

In May 1970, Frank McKinnon tabled a motion at the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association AGM to allow the remaining Junior "A" Leagues to compete at a national level for a national championship. The motion was granted and McKinnon and the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association donated the Manitoba Centennial Trophy to the new championship in honour of 100 years of ice hockey in Manitoba.

Tier II Junior A (1970 to 1980)
Tier II mirrored Memorial Cup play for the first eight years, east versus west, with only one change. The Thunder Bay seed came out of the east, not west. The West competed for the Abbott Cup while the East competed for the Dudley Hewitt Cup. In 1978 the CAHA expanded Tier II to three regions, be dividing the East into Central (Ontario and Quebec) and Eastern (Atlantic Provinces) zones. This lasted three seasons and became permanent for 84-85. The new Central zone competed for the new Dudley Hewitt Cup while the Eastern zone competed for the new Callaghan Cup.

Junior A (1980 to Present)
In the Summer of 1980, the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League elected to break away from the branches of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and become only an affiliated member of the CAHA. The CMJHL, now the Canadian Hockey League, changed their name from "Tier I Junior A" or "Major Junior A" to "Major Junior". The "Tier II Junior A" teams mirrored this change by dropping "Tier II" and became just Junior A.

In 1990, the western Junior A leagues in Canada would form the Canada West Association. This organization would be the catalyst for the creation of the Canadian Junior A Hockey League in 1993. In 2008, the league was rebranded the "Canadian Junior Hockey League".

Statistical History

See: List of Canadian Junior A Seasons (Post-1970)

Eastern RegionEdit

Present
Started in 1994, the Eastern Region is played for by the teams of the Central Canada Hockey League, Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League, and Maritime Junior Hockey League for the Fred Page Cup. The winner of the round robin for the Fred Page Cup represents Eastern Canada at the RBC Cup tournament.
History
In 1993-94, the Ontario Hockey Association re-entered Junior A hockey with two leagues (Metro Junior A Hockey League and Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League). The Central Region had too many representatives vying for the Dudley Hewitt Cup leading to a lengthy and unconventional playoff format in 1994. In 1991, Atlantic Region had the opposite happen, the floundering Island Junior Hockey League merged with the Metro Valley Junior Hockey League to form the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and the St. John's Junior Hockey League elected to walk away from Junior A competition. From 1991 until 1994, the Atlantic Region only had one league. In the Summer of 1994, it was decided to create a new zone, abolishing the Atlantic Region and splitting the Central Region. The new Eastern Region featured the Central Junior A Hockey League, Quebec Provincial Junior Hockey League, and the Maritime League and with the Fred Page Cup donated by the Quebec League for that first season, not much has changed since.

Maritime Provinces
Maritime Junior Hockey League MHL 1994-95 Present
Maritime Junior A Hockey League MJAHL 1994-95 2009-10
Maritime Junior Hockey League MHL 2010-11 Present
played in Atlantic Region prior to 1994-95 (see Atlantic Region)
Ontario
Central Canada Hockey League CCHL 1994-95 Present
Central Junior A Hockey League CJHL 1994-95 2008-09
Central Junior Hockey League CJHL 2008-09 2008-09
Central Hockey League CHL 2009-10 2009-10
Central Canada Hockey League CCHL 2010-11 Present
played in Central Region prior to 1994-95 (see Central Region)
Quebec
Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League LHJAAAQ 1994-95 Present
Quebec Provincial Junior Hockey League LHJPQ 1988-89 1997-98
Quebec Junior AAA Hockey League LHJAAAQ 1998-99 Present
played in Central Region prior to 1994-95 (see Central Region)

Western RegionEdit

Present
Starting in 2013, the champion from each of the four western leagues plus a host team play a 13-game tournament to crown a Western Canada Cup Champion. The winner and the runner-up will both represent Western Canada at the RBC Cup National Junior A Championship. The new region is a result of the direct merger of the the Pacific (British Columbia and Alberta) and Western (Saskatchewan and Manitoba) Regions that had existed since 1970-71.
History
Alberta plays British Columbia for the Doyle Cup. Manitoba plays Saskatchewan for the Anavet Cup.
From 1971 to 1989, the two winners advanced to the Abbott Cup (Western Canadian Championship), with the winner going on to the Centennial Cup (Canadian Championship). After 1989 the two winners went directly to the RBC Cup tournament (1990-95 Centennial Cup) for the National Junior ‘A’ title.

Alberta
Alberta Junior Hockey League AJHL 1970-71 Present
British Columbia
British Columbia Hockey League BCHL 1970-71 Present
British Columbia Junior Hockey League BCJHL 1970-71 1989-90
British Columbia Hockey League BCHL 1990-91 Present
Pacific Coast Junior Hockey League PJHL 1974-75 1978-79
Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League RMJHL 1980-81 1998-99
Peace-Cariboo Junior Hockey League PCJHL 1980-81 1990-91
Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League RMJHL 1991-92 1998-99
Manitoba
Manitoba Junior Hockey League MJHL 1970-71 Present
NorMan Junior Hockey League NJHL 1979-80 1984-85
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League SJHL 1970-71 Present

Central RegionEdit

Present
Currently, the winners of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Superior International Junior Hockey League compete for the Dudley Hewitt Cup. The winner represents Central Canada at the RBC Cup National Junior A Championship.
History
The Central Region started for the 1978-79 season and for the first three years the winner went directly to the Centennial Cup (Canadian Championship). From 1982 to 1983, the winner advanced to the Eastern Canadian Final, with the winner going on to the Canadian Championship. The 84 Championship was for Eastern Canada, the winner going on to the Canadian Championship. After 1984, the winner goes directly to the RBC Cup tournament (1985-95 Centennial Cup) for the National Junior ‘A’ title.

Ontario
Central Junior A Hockey League CJHL 1970-71 1993-94
joined Eastern Region in 1994-95 (see Eastern Region)
Metro Junior A Hockey League MetJHL 1993-94 1997-98
operated as independent league in 1995-96 & 1996-97 (not sanctioned)
Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League NOJHL 1978-79 Present
Ontario Junior Hockey League OJHL 1993-94 Present
Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League OPJHL 1993-94 2007-08
Ontario Junior Hockey League OJHL 2008-09 2008-09
Ontario Junior A Hockey League
Central Canadian Hockey League
OJAHL
CCHL
2009-10 2009-10
Ontario Junior Hockey League OJHL 2010-11 Present
Ontario Junior Hockey League OJHL 1972-73 1986-87
Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League OPJHL 1972-73 1980-81
Ontario Junior Hockey League OJHL 1981-82 1986-87
Superior International Junior Hockey League SIJHL 2001-02 Present
Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League TBJHL 1970-71 1979-80
Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League TBJHL 1970-71 1970-71
Thunder Bay-Minnesota Junior Hockey League TBMJHL 1971-72 1971-72
Can-Am Junior Hockey League
Thunder Bay Junior Hockey League
CAJHL
TBJHL
1972-73 1972-73
Thunder Bay Junior A Hockey League TBJHL 1973-74 1979-80
Quebec
Quebec Junior A Hockey League LHJAQ 1972-73 1981-82
Quebec Provincial Junior Hockey League LHJPQ 1988-89 1993-94
joined Eastern Region in 1994-95 (see Eastern Region)
Independent Teams
Black Lake Miners QAHA 1987-88 1987-88
Thunder Bay Flyers USHL 1980-81 1995-96
Thunder Bay Kings TBHL 1980-81 1983-84
Thunder Bay Flyers USHL 1987-88 1995-96
Did not participate in CAHA playdowns from 1984-87 and 1996-00


Prior to 1978
Prior to 1978, what would become the Central Region was one-half of the East Hewitt-Dudley Memorial Trophy playdowns. The winner of what was to become the Central Region would play the winner of the Atlantic Region to win the Trophy and earn the right to represent the East in the Centennial Cup.

Listed below are leagues and independent teams that folded prior to the creation of the Central Region, but competed in its predecessor.

Ontario
Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association NOJHA 1970-71 1971-72
Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League SOJHL 1970-71 1976-77
Independent Teams
Fort Frances Royals TBAHA 1970-71 1970-71
Schreiber North Stars NWOJHL 1970-71 1970-71

Defunct RegionsEdit

Atlantic Region 1970-94
From 1974 until 1991, Canadian Junior A had a great presence in Atlantic Canada. In 1980-81, the J. Pius Callaghan Cup was awarded for the first time to the winner of the region. During the East-West format, the Atlantic Junior A Champion went directly into the East Final for the Hewitt-Dudley Memorial Trophy. In round robin years, the Atlantic Champion went directly to the Centennial Cup.

In 1991, the Metro Valley Junior Hockey League absorbed the rival Island Junior Hockey League and changed its name to the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. With the St. John's Junior Hockey League returning to Junior B that same summer, the MJAHL had a monopoly on the Atlantic Region. This was changed in 1994 when the MJAHL was forced to join the newly formed Eastern Region.

New Brunswick
New Brunswick Junior Hockey League NBJHL 1970-71 1982-83
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland Junior A Hockey League NJAHL 1971-72 1974-75
St. John's Junior Hockey League SJJHL 1989-90 1990-91
Nova Scotia
Eastern Junior A Hockey League EJAHL 1975-76 1979-80
Maritime Junior A Hockey League MJAHL 1976-77 1993-94
Metro Valley Junior Hockey League MVJHL 1976-77 1990-91
Maritime Junior A Hockey League MJAHL 1991-92 1993-94
The MVJHL/MJAHL became interprovincial in 1983, but is based in Nova Scotia
joined Eastern Region in 1994-95 (see Eastern Region)
Prince Edward Island
Island Junior Hockey League IJHL 1973-74 1990-91
Interprovincial
Maritime Junior A Hockey League MJAHL 1970-71 1970-71
Independent Teams
Charlottetown Islanders MAHA 1971-72 1971-72
Corner Brook Jr. Royals NAHA 1971-72 1976-77
did not compete independently between 1971-72 and 1976-77
St. John's Jr. Capitals NAHA 1971-72 1976-77
did not compete independently between 1971-72 and 1976-77
Stephenville Jr. Monarchs NAHA 1976-77 1976-77

National and Regional TrophiesEdit

CurrentEdit

The modern Junior A scene is broken into three regions, each with their own championship, for the 2012-13 season. The Eastern and Central Regions will each hold a round robin to determine a seed each into the national championship. The Western region will hold a page tournament with a champion and runner-up moving on. The four teams will meet in a predetermined host city and with the host team, compete for the RBC Cup, the Canadian Junior A championship. In the case that the host team of the RBC Cup is also a winner of one of these three regional tournaments, the next highest ranked team from that tournament will act as that regional representative at the national championship.

Current Trophies
RBC Cup National Round Robin 1996 Present
Dudley Hewitt Cup Central Region Round Robin 1971 Present
Fred Page Cup Eastern Region Round Robin 1995 Present
Western Canada Cup Western Region Page Tournament 2013 Present

RetiredEdit

Trophies are retired when traditions die-off. Most notably, the Manitoba Centennial Cup, the National Junior A Championship of Canada for 25 years, died when the Junior A leagues of Canada created the Canadian Junior A Hockey League and pursued a major corporate sponsor. The need for East and West championships died with the death of the best-of-7 playdown format. As well, the death of the many Atlantic Canadian hockey leagues over the years made the Callaghan Cup obsolete. Most recently, the time-honoured tradition of an Alberta/BC and Manitoba/Saskatchewan playdown has made way to the new Western Canada Cup tournament -- retiring two more trophies.

Retired Trophies
Manitoba Centennial Cup National Rd. Robin/Best-of-7 1971 1995
Abbott Cup Canada West Final Best-of-7/Single game 1971 1999
Anavet Cup Manitoba/Saskatchewan Best-of-7 1974 2012
Doyle Cup Alberta/British Columbia Best-of-7 1985 2012
Callaghan Cup Atlantic Canada Best-of-7 1981 1994*

* -- The Callaghan Cup was retired from the National Playdowns in 1994, but became the exclusive championship trophy of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League until its retirement in 2005.

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