Bob Fitchner — originally from Roblin, Fitchner played junior hockey in B.C. and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1970. Later, he played with Indianapolis of the World Hockey Association until he was traded to the Quebec Nordiques in 1976. Fitchner won a WHA title in 1977 with Quebec, and played one NHL season with the team in its inaugural season (1979-80), scoring 11 goals and 31 points. He would later coach at the University of Brandon.
Larry Bolonchuk — a Winnipegger, Bolonchuk played with the junior Jets and was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL in 1972. Two years later, he won a Turner Cup with Des Moines of the International Hockey League. He played 74 NHL games split between the Canucks and Washington Capitals before signing with the Winnipeg Jets in 1979. He never played for the Jets, but became a city firefighter.
Marty Murray — hailing from Lyleton, Murray was a sensational bantam and midget player, stepping into the Brandon Wheat Kings lineup in the fall of 1991. He led Brandon in scoring in his final two seasons, and also won gold with Canada at back-to-back world junior championships (1994, ‘95). Drafted by Calgary, he played 261 NHL games split between the Flames, Philadelphia, Carolina and Los Angeles.
Trevor Kidd — the Oakbank product won a Memorial Cup with Spokane of the WHL, a pair of world junior titles and a silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. Kidd had 356 NHL starts with Calgary, Carolina, Florida and Toronto. He played his final two years of pro in Germany, retiring after the 2005-06 season. Kidd now works as a part-time broadcaster in Winnipeg for TSN.
Terry Yake — raised in Mather, Yake played three years with the Wheat Kings and was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1987. He played 403 NHL games split between Hartford, Anaheim, Toronto, St. Louis and Washington before finishing up with seven seasons in Europe.
Susana Yuen — the Winnipegger attended the University of Manitoba and started playing on the women’s team in the mid-1980s. In 1989, she was selected to play for the national team and won a gold medal at the first official world women’s championship in Ottawa in March 1990. She has been a volunteer coach for years since her retirement from playing.
Barry Shenkarow — the Winnipeg lawyer was part-owner of the Jets in the late 1970s when the WHA merged with the NHL, and the Manitoba capital was finally in the hockey big leagues. He owned the team until the 1995 season, when the economics of hockey made it impossible to keep the team in Winnipeg. During his time as owner, Shenkarow and his wife, Rena, created the Goals for Kids Foundation, which raised money for local children’s charities every year.
Kelly McCrimmon — a former WHL and college player, McCrimmon coached and managed the Brandon Wheat Kings for decades and has owned the team since 2000. He continues to oversee team operations from afar, but is currently the new GM of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Rob Haithwaite — the Neepawa product started as a young referee in the Brandon area and worked his way up to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and WHL. He has officiated at championships at the local, national and international level, and is currently a video goal judge for NHL games at Bell MTS Place.
Bob (Doc) Holliday — Doc worked at the Lance, Tribune and Sun covering every sport under the sun, but had a focus on the MJHL and local senior leagues. He was also a wrestling promoter and was instrumental in the development of the St. Vital Minor Hockey Association. Today, he’s president of the St. Vital Historical Society and manages the St. Vital Museum.
1965-66 Flin Flon Warriors — the squad won the Manitoba Intermediate Championship in three consecutive seasons (1964-66) and went on to compete nationally. In 1966, they outlasted the Kindersley Klippers in the western semifinal and beat Lloydminster in the final series to win the Edmonton Journal Cup.
1972-73 St. Boniface Mohawks — the terrific team won the Canadian Central Hockey League crown that year, on the strength of a 21-game winning streak. They went on to defeat Spokane in seven games for the right to meet the host Orillia Terriers in Ontario in the Allan Cup final, losing the best-of-seven series 4-1.
1957-58 St. Boniface Canadiens — the club eked out a series victory over the Winnipeg Monarchs to capture the MJHL Turnbull Trophy that season, and then dispatched the Fort William (Thunder Bay) Canadiens in an inter-provincial final. Next up was the Regina Pats, who won the final series 4-2 to represent the West at the Memorial Cup.
Johnny Sheppard — originally from Montreal, he moved with his brother to Selkirk after their parents died in a fire. As a teen, he starred with the Selkirk Fishermen juniors in and around 1920. He turned pro with Edmonton of the Western Canada Hockey League in 1922 and was later traded to the Detroit Cougars, where he began his NHL career. He also played in New York, Boston and Chicago, winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 1934.
1929 Elmwood Millionaires — the squad won the MJHL title and went on to beat Kenora in two straight to advance to the Abbott Cup final against Calgary. They defeated the Falcons and then went on to face the eastern champs, the Toronto Marlboros, in a best-of-three Memorial Cup. But the Toronto squad prevailed.
— Jason Bell