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The Winnipeg and District Junior Hockey League (WJrHL) became official on the evening of Wednesday, December 12, 1917. The League was the brainchild of the newly created Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, and started with 10 teams in 2 divisions. At the time the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association was organizing a National Junior Championship. And for the 1918-19 season, the CAHA introduced the Memorial Cup.
Two Leagues within One (1932-45)Edit
|the 30's||the 40's|
NHL Sponorship Era (1945-67)Edit
In 1944 the Winnipeg Monarchs aligned with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League, starting an era of NHL control that would last until the late 60’s. At seasons end, three teams sought to have the affiliation stopped, and when the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association refused, they withdrew. Over the course of the next few years all remaining teams affiliated:
- Brandon Wheat Kings with the New York Rangers
- St. James Hockey Club with the Montreal Canadiens
- Winnipeg Rangers Athletic Club with the Chicago Blackhawks
Each agreement was different, in some cases major donations to new arenas were involved. The cost was talent. In each agreement, the NHL team could select one local player to play on their eastern junior team, in some cases it was 2. And that was per year. Andy Bathgate, considered one of Manitoba’s greatest players, was one of those players. Bathgate played only one game in the MJHL before moving east. The era finished like it began, different for every team. NHL sponsorship may have ended before the era.
|the 40's||the 50's||the 60's|
Modern Era (1967 to Present)Edit
It was a new era, NHL Sponsorship ceased, mandated by the NHL. And the NHL also introduced the Amateur Draft.
The Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association agreed to allowed three teams to enter the Western Canada Hockey League, the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Flin Flon Bombers from the MJHL, and a new team, the Ben Hatskin's owned Winnipeg Jets. It was the beginning of Major Junior in Manitoba. And the MAHA took back control of MJHL. Hatskin, who owned three MJHL teams, was forced to sell to local interests, as part of the agreement. The Winnipeg Warriors became the West Kildonan North Stars, the Winnipeg Rangers became the St. Boniface Saints, and the St. James Braves became the St. James Canadians.
After being forced to play-off with the CMJHL in 1968, the MJHL merged with the league for 68-69, 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.
The new MJHL was exciting! The Dauphin Kings were the first Dynasty of the new MJHL, winning the League 3 out of 4 years, 69, 70, & 72, and boasting such stars as Ron Low, Butch Goring, and Ron Chipperfield. The Kings went to game 7 of the Western Canadian Memorial Cup final in 69, and in 72, won 40 games, a modern day MJHL record. Charlie Simmer of the Kenora Muskies won the scoring title in 73, the same year the Portage Terriers were crowned National Champs, winning the Centennial Cup. In 74, the Selkirk Steelers won the National crown, giving the MJHL back to back “Canadian Championships”. It was players like 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, Andy Van Hellemond, and many more that gave the new MJHL it’s foundation.
|the 60's||the 70's||the 80's|
|the 90's||the 00's||the 10's|
|Person||First Season||Last Season||Seasons|
|governed by MAHA||1968-69||1971-72||4|
|Bill Robinson 1st||1961-62||1963-64||3|