First awarded in 1971, the ANAVET Cup is won through a best-of-seven series featuring a head-to-head matchup between the champions of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) with the victor moving on to the Centennial Cup.
Deriving from the Canadian not-for-profit organization ANAVETS, the ANAVET Cup was created to recognize the sacrifices made by Army, Navy and Airforce Veterans in Canada.
With the cancellation of all hockey-related events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to take the time to respect and remember the great men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of all Canadians.
In a joint statement, MJHL Commissioner, Kim Davis and SJHL President, Bill Chow articulated that there is a lot more to the ANAVET Cup than just the game of hockey.
“To the fans of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. At this time of year, our normal would be the starting of the ANAVET Cup. Unfortunately, with the current ‘new normal’ we will not be playing in the ANAVET Cup this spring. The ANAVET Cup is about more than hockey, it’s about remembering so many people whose sacrifices allow for the generations of people in Canada that have not had to fight to have their freedom.”
“Maybe in some ways, the spring of 2020 is about remembering the ANAVETS and the sacrifices they made for ‘our freedom’. Although our freedom is compromised currently and temporarily, it is to ensure we continue to have freedom, that our ANAVETS fought for. We encourage you to STAY HOME and STAY SAFE to ensure our freedom in one of the greatest countries in the world, Canada. Thank you to our ANAVETS across all of Canada for our freedom.”
Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario Provincial Command Sports Officer, Rosemary Towers also shared a heartfelt message to the players of both the MJHL and SJHL.
“The ANAVETS want to congratulate each and every one of you at this time for your self-discipline during the COVID-19 crisis,” Towers explained. “Just because the ANAVET Cup has been canceled doesn’t mean that we have forgotten you. We support our youth of today as they are our hope of tomorrow. ANAVETS is celebrating 180 years in 2020, making us the oldest Veterans Association in Canada.”
Friday, April 24 would have marked the start of the 2020 ANAVET Cup between the MJHL & SJHL champions.