Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League

Last updated
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League
SJHL Logo.svg
FormerlySaskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League (1968-1973)
Sport Ice hockey
Founded1968
Inaugural season1968–69
CEO Bill Chow
No. of teams12
Most recent
champion(s)
Battlefords North Stars (3rd)
Most titles Humboldt Broncos (10)
Related
competitions
ANAVET Cup
Centennial Cup
Official website sjhl.ca

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior A ice hockey league under Hockey Canada, a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Open to North American-born players 20 years of age or younger, the SJHL's 12 teams play in three divisions: the Olympic Buildings, Sherwood and Viterra Divisions. A major attraction in Saskatchewan, the SJHL draws 400,000 fans each season. The winner of the SJHL playoffs continues on to play in the ANAVET Cup against the champion from the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, for the right to represent the Western region at the Centennial Cup, the national Junior A championship.

Contents

History

The SJHL was formed in July 1968 as a result of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL) splitting away from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) and affiliating with the rival Canadian Hockey Association led by Ron Butlin. CAHA president Lloyd Pollock helped to set up meetings across Western Canada to outline the CAHA's development plan for teams which had remained within the CAHA. [1] Later that month, he approved a series of exhibition games for teams in the Ontario Hockey Association to play the Regina Pats and Weyburn Red Wings, after Regina and Weyburn had asked for assistance in forming a new Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Pollock also laid out plans to make player transfers easier between provinces to support the Saskatchewan teams. [2]

The league was originally known as the Saskatchewan Amateur Junior Hockey League until 1973. They re-adopted the "Amateur" in their name in 1980 and carried it until the 1987–88 season, when they dropped the "Amateur" again. They were one of the original Tier II Junior A leagues in the realignment of 1970. Their first two seasons they were eligible for the Memorial Cup.[ citation needed ]

Humboldt Broncos bus crash

On April 6, 2018 the Humboldt Broncos team bus suffered a fatal crash on their way to the team's semi-final playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks. Ten players, two coaches, an athletic therapist, two employees of a local radio station, and the bus driver were killed in the collision. The remaining passengers were injured, some critically. The SJHL playoffs were postponed as a result (the Hawks were leading the series 3–1 and the Estevan Bruins waiting to play the winner in the finals). SJHL President Bill Chow called the incident the league's "worst nightmare". [3]

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

On March 13, 2020, pursuant to the suspension of all sanctioned activity by Hockey Canada and the CJHL due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the 2019–20 SJHL season and all associated championships were suspended until further notice. The league championship was not awarded. [4] [5] [6]

The league resumed play for a 2020–21 season in November 2020, [7] with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) allowing for limited in-person attendance (150 spectators). [8] However, the Flin Flon Bombers were forced to suspend operations on November 12, 2020 until at least the new year, after Manitoba issued a "Code Red" circuit breaker that ordered the closure of non-essential businesses and recreational facilities. The team considered the possibility of conducting all hockey operations out of nearby Creighton, Saskatchewan, but were unable to reach agreements with the SHA and Manitoba Health that would allow them to resume operations. [9] [10] In turn, the SJHL was forced to suspend play on November 27, as Saskatchewan ordered the suspension of all group and team sports activities. [11]

In February 2021, the league submitted a return-to-play proposal to the Saskatchewan government that would have involved as many as three hub cities. [7] Despite other provinces such as Alberta having allowed their Junior A leagues to continue, [7] Saskatchewan continued to maintain its prohibitions on sport. [12] The SJHL and its teams have faced growing financial issues due to cancelled games and other events, prompting the provincial government to provide a $1 million relief package to be divided between its teams. [7] [13] On March 23, 2021, the SJHL announced that its return-to-play proposal had been rejected, citing concerns surrounding the current state of the pandemic in Saskatchewan. The SJHL therefore announced that the 2020–21 season had been cancelled and will not be resumed. The league championship was not awarded for the second season in a row. [14]

Current teams

Viterra Division
TeamCityArenaJoined
Estevan Bruins Estevan, Saskatchewan Affinity Place1971
Melville Millionaires Melville, Saskatchewan Horizon Credit Union Centre1970
Weyburn Red Wings Weyburn, Saskatchewan Crescent Point Place 1968
Yorkton Terriers Yorkton, Saskatchewan Farrell Agencies Arena 1972
Global Ag Risk Solutions Division
TeamCityArenaJoined
Battlefords North Stars North Battleford, Saskatchewan North Battleford Civic Centre 1973
Humboldt Broncos Humboldt, Saskatchewan Elgar Peterson Arena 1970
Kindersley Klippers Kindersley, Saskatchewan West Central Events Centre 1991
Notre Dame Hounds Wilcox, Saskatchewan Duncan McNeill Arena1987
Sherwood Division
TeamCityArenaJoined
Flin Flon Bombers Flin Flon, Manitoba Whitney Forum 1984
La Ronge Ice Wolves La Ronge, Saskatchewan Mel Hegland Arena1998
Melfort Mustangs Melfort, Saskatchewan Northern Lights Palace1988
Nipawin Hawks Nipawin, Saskatchewan Centennial Arena1985

Timeline of teams in the SJHL

League champions

Note: In the chart, league champions are bolded.

YearLeague ChampionLeague Runner-up
Hanbidge Cup (Memorial Cup Era)
1969Regina PatsWeyburn Red Wings
1970Weyburn Red WingsRegina Pats
Hanbidge Cup (Centennial Cup Era)
1971Weyburn Red WingsHumboldt Broncos
1972Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
1973Humboldt BroncosEstevan Bruins
1974Prince Albert RaidersEstevan Bruins
1975Swift Current BroncosPrince Albert Raiders
1976Prince Albert RaidersWeyburn Red Wings
1977Prince Albert RaidersMelville Millionaires
1978Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1979Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1980Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1981Prince Albert RaidersMoose Jaw Canucks
1982Prince Albert RaidersYorkton Terriers
1983Yorkton TerriersWeyburn Red Wings
1984Weyburn Red WingsYorkton Terriers
1985Estevan BruinsWeyburn Red Wings
1986Humboldt BroncosEstevan Bruins
1987Humboldt BroncosLloydminster Lancers
1988Notre Dame HoundsYorkton Terriers
1989Humboldt BroncosNipawin Hawks
1990Nipawin HawksYorkton Terriers
1991Yorkton TerriersHumboldt Broncos
1992Melfort MustangsEstevan Bruins
1993Flin Flon BombersMelville Millionaires
1994Weyburn Red WingsMelfort Mustangs
1995Weyburn Red WingsNorth Battleford Stars
1996Melfort MustangsYorkton Terriers
1997Weyburn Red WingsNorth Battleford Stars
1998Weyburn Red WingsNipawin Hawks
Membercare Cup
1999Estevan BruinsHumboldt Broncos
2000Battlefords North StarsWeyburn Red Wings
2001Weyburn Red WingsNipawin Hawks
2002Kindersley KlippersHumboldt Broncos
2003Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
2004Kindersley KlippersWeyburn Red Wings
Credential Cup
2005Yorkton TerriersBattlefords North Stars
2006Yorkton TerriersBattlefords North Stars
2007Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
2008Humboldt BroncosKindersley Klippers
2009Humboldt BroncosMelville Millionaires
Credit Union Cup
2010La Ronge Ice WolvesYorkton Terriers
2011La Ronge Ice WolvesYorkton Terriers
Canalta Cup
2012Humboldt BroncosWeyburn Red Wings
2013Yorkton TerriersHumboldt Broncos
2014Yorkton TerriersMelville Millionaires
2015Melfort MustangsNotre Dame Hounds
2016Melfort MustangsFlin Flon Bombers
2017Battlefords North StarsFlin Flon Bombers
2018Nipawin HawksEstevan Bruins
2019Battlefords North StarsMelfort Mustangs
2020Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021Not awarded due to COVID-19 pandemic

Former member teams

Media

In the wake of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, TSN aired a national broadcast of the team's 2018–19 home opener. [15] [16]

In January 2019, the league announced a broadcasting deal with SaskTel, under which a game will be carried on its television service per-month for the remainder of the season, as well as coverage of the league final. [17]

See also

Related Research Articles

Western Hockey League Sports league

The Western Hockey League (WHL) is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitutes the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada. Teams play for the Ed Chynoweth Cup, with the winner moving on to play for the Memorial Cup, Canada's national junior championship. WHL teams have won the Memorial Cup 19 times since the league became eligible to compete for the trophy. Many players have been drafted from WHL teams, and have found success at various levels of professional hockey, including the National Hockey League (NHL).

Flin Flon Bombers Manitoba junior ice hockey team

The Flin Flon Bombers are a Junior A ice hockey team based in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada. Flin Flon straddles the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with the Bombers competing as a member of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), affiliated with the Canadian Junior Hockey League. Their home rink is the Whitney Forum. Radio station CFAR live broadcasts a select number of home and away games throughout the year as well as all playoff games.

Prince Albert Raiders Western Hockey League team in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

The Prince Albert Raiders are a major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League. The Raiders play in the East Division of the Eastern Conference. They are based in the city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. The team plays its home games at the Art Hauser Centre.

Estevan Bruins Ice hockey team in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

The Estevan Bruins are a junior ice hockey team playing in the Junior "A" Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). The team is based in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, and plays at Affinity Place. They were founded in 1971, when a previous franchise called the Estevan Bruins, which played in the Major Junior Western Hockey League (WHL), relocated to New Westminster, British Columbia.

Humboldt Broncos Junior ice hockey team from Humboldt, Canada

The Humboldt Broncos are a Canadian junior "A" ice hockey team from Humboldt, Saskatchewan. Established in 1970, the Broncos play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

The 1968–69 WCHL season was the third season of the Western Canada Hockey League. Eight teams completed a 60-game season, with the Flin Flon Bombers winning the President's Cup.

The 1969–70 WCHL season was the fourth season of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Eight teams completed a 60-game season, with the Flin Flon Bombers winning their second consecutive President's Cup.

The 1970–71 WCHL season was the fifth season of the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). Ten teams completed a 66-game season, with the Edmonton Oil Kings winning the President's Cup.

This is a timeline of events throughout the 40-year history of the Western Hockey League

Weyburn Red Wings

The Weyburn Red Wings are a Canadian junior ice hockey team based in Weyburn, Saskatchewan playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). They play their home games at the Crescent Point Place, which has a seating capacity of 1,750. The team colours are red and white. Radio station CHWY-FM K106 broadcasts all Red Wings road games, and select home games. All home games are webcast on HockeyTV.

Yorkton Terriers

The Yorkton Terriers are a team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) based in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. The team plays their home games in the Farrell Agencies Arena, which has a seating capacity of 2,300. The Terriers won the 2014 Royal Bank Cup as Junior A Champions of Canada.

Battlefords North Stars

The Battlefords North Stars are a Junior "A" ice hockey team based in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, that plays in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The teams was founded in 1973 as the Battleford Barons and has been known as the North Stars since 1983. And are the most recent SJHL Champions

The La Ronge Ice Wolves are a Canadian junior "A" ice hockey team based out of La Ronge, Saskatchewan. They play out of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. They play their homes games at the Mel Hegland Uniplex which has a seating capacity of 1,200.

Melfort Mustangs

The Melfort Mustangs are a junior "A" ice hockey team based in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada. They are members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). They play their home games at the Northern Lights Palace, which has a seating capacity of 1,850. The team colors are blue, green, and white.

Nipawin Hawks

The Nipawin Hawks are a Canadian junior "A" team based in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. They are members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). They play their home games at the Centennial Arena, which has a seating capacity of 1,500. The team colors are black and yellow.

The Swift Current Broncos were a Canadian Junior "A" ice hockey team based out of Swift Current, Saskatchewan that played in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League from 1974 to 1986. From 1983 to 1986, the team was known as the Swift Current Indians.

1957 Memorial Cup 1957 Canadian junior ice hockey championship

The 1957 Memorial Cup final was the 39th junior ice hockey championship of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). The Flin Flon Bombers won their first Memorial Cup championship by defeating the Ottawa Junior Canadiens four games to three in a best-of-seven final series held at the Whitney Forum and the Regina Exhibition Stadium. CAHA second vice-president Gordon Juckes oversaw the scheduling and discipline for the national playoffs.

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (1948–1966) Canadian junior ice hockey league

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League was a junior ice hockey based in Saskatchewan and Manitoba from 1948 until 1966. It operated under the jurisdiction of the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association. Two of its teams won the Abbott Cup as the junior champions of Western Canada, and the Flin Flon Bombers won the Memorial Cup as the national junior champion of Canada in 1957. Frank Boucher served as commissioner of the league from 1959 to 1966, until the league disbanded when five of its eight teams joined the newly formed Canadian Major Junior Hockey League.

References

  1. "CAHA, Juniors Meet Sunday". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 5, 1968. p. 19. Lock-green.svg
  2. "CAHA Gives Special Concessions To West". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. July 13, 1968. p. 49. Lock-green.svg
  3. "15 dead in Canadian junior hockey bus crash". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  4. "CJHL announces cancellation of 2020 season, until further notice, due to COVID-19 pandemic". SJHL.ca. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  5. "Sask. Junior Hockey League to continue coronavirus-shortened playoffs via video game simulation". CBC News. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  6. "The SJHL playoffs suspended following directive from Hockey Canada". Regina. 2020-03-12. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "'Every team is in a tough spot': SJHL facing financial uncertainty as return to play talks continue". CTV News Regina. 2021-03-03. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  8. "SJHL season paused until 2021 due to COVID-19". Global News. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  9. "Flin Flon Bombers pause season as Manitoba enters code red". CTV News Winnipeg. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  10. Westhaver, Eric. "Bombers to pause play, postpone games until New Year: SJHL". Flin Flon Reminder. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  11. "Coronavirus: New Saskatchewan public health measures for restaurants, sports teams". Global News. Retrieved 2020-11-25.
  12. "Sask.'s COVID-19 restrictions to remain until March 19". CTV News Regina. 2021-02-16. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  13. "Sask. provides $4M to support WHL, SJHL". Regina. 2021-01-15. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  14. "SJHL return to play proposal denied by province". CTV News Regina. 2021-03-23. Retrieved 2021-03-23.
  15. "Humboldt Broncos Home Opener to air live on TSN and CTV Saskatchewan". TSN.ca. 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  16. "In wake of tragic bus crash, the Humboldt Broncos' opener will be broadcast across North America". Awful Announcing. 2018-09-12. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  17. Cairns, John. "SJHL coming to SaskTel Max TV". Battlefords News-Optimist. Retrieved 2019-01-27.