WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is proud to announce that an expansion franchise has been awarded to 50 Below Sports + Entertainment for the upcoming 2020-21 season – The new franchise will operate within the Winnipeg market.
The 12th MJHL franchise will enhance the flexibility needed to provide a schedule that reduces travel and assists with divisional alignment; both critical components to executing the MJHL approved Phase II Return to Play Plan.
“50 Below Sports + Entertainment, along with all of our member clubs, have really stepped up and put the players first to provide safe and competitive development conditions,” said Kevin Saurette, MJHL Commissioner. “These are trying times as teams continue with necessary preparations for the difficult season ahead as we are all committed to developing our players in a safe, structured and responsible environment.”
Adding a second team in Winnipeg, led by a strong management and ownership team, provides further development opportunities for Manitoba hockey players to play elite Junior A Hockey within the province.
With the announcement, the MJHL returns to a 12-team league for the first time since the 2002-2003 season.
Please stay tuned for further exciting announcements from 50 Below Sports & Entertainment regarding the new Winnipeg MJHL Franchise in the coming days.
MJHL Set to Release 2020-2021 Schedule
The 2020-21 COVID-19 season schedule has been finalized and will be significantly modified from previous seasons to mitigate risk of spread or potential contact between multiple teams while allowing for minimal disruption of the schedule in the event of a positive COVID-19 case. Full schedule announcement will be made next week.
MJHL Regular Season set to begin on Friday, October 9th.
MJHL Main Camps will begin on September 18th with no more than 34 players in attendance. Teams will play no more than three exhibition games in advance of the MJHL Regular Season.
Prospect Camps currently being held by MJHL teams in advance of September 18th and are following the MJHL Return to Play – Phase I Guidelines which have been in place since June 26th. Full contact is not permitted during these camps.
As is the case for everyone throughout the province and beyond, these past months during the COVID-19 pandemic have placed significant financial stress on each MJHL team and community. Additional stress will be felt as each organization prepares for what will be required for the upcoming season to ensure we return to hockey in a safe, controlled and responsible manner.
Each organization is to be commended for their absolute commitment to providing elite development opportunities both on and off the ice in the face of these financial challenges with the health and safety of all involved always being the number one priority. Teams will need and deserve all the support they can be afforded during this difficult time as we prepare to return to the game we all love.
Please stay tuned for further MJHL announcements in the coming weeks.
About the MJHL
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is one of ten Junior ‘A’ Hockey Leagues in Canada and is a proud member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL). The goal of the MJHL is to develop elite players and ultimately have them develop into elite citizens who make a positive contribution to their community – To provide fans, communities and supporters with the best possible hockey product through dedication to improvement in all areas of the game both on and off the ice.
To provide each MJHL player with an elite hockey development experience with a strong emphasis on education and positive citizenship. To deliver exciting Junior ‘A’ hockey action to fans throughout the province and enhance Manitoba communities in the spirit of sports excellence and goodwill.