The Manitoba Junior Hockey League will present the Frank McKinnon Memorial Trophy this season to the individual player who best exemplifies Hockey Ability & Sportsmanship. The MJHL Board of Governors unanimously approved a motion to honor Mr. McKinnon this way. The current award for Hockey Ability & Sportsmanship named in memory of Lorne Lyndon and presented by CJOB will be retired.
Frank McKinnon was a giant in the amateur hockey world in Canada. In 1979, McKinnon became the first chairman of the board of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Canada), a post he would hold until 1982. His contributions to growing the game at the grassroots levels were immense. In 1981, he was awarded the Gordon Juckes Award for efforts in developing amateur hockey at the national level. Two years later he was named Hockey Canada’s Volunteer of the Year. He received a third award from Hockey Canada, the Order of Merit, in 1991.
McKinnon served two decades on the executive of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Manitoba), including five as president in the 1970s.
He was also president of the Carman-Dufferin Minor Hockey Association.
He also left his mark beyond his province. As a trustee, he helped create the Centennial Cup (now RBC Cup) in 1971. He was a member of the congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation and part of the committee that organized the first IIHF World Junior Championship in 1974.
In 1992 he became Commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). While in office, he introduced an improved stats system for scouts and increased media attention at games. The MJHL became involved with the federal government’s Stay in School Program – a lifelong educator, McKinnon wanted players to be active role models in the community.
In 1993, McKinnon was named a Life Patron of Hockey Canada, and he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.
Frank was also a Life Member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) and Hockey Manitoba, and has been inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame and Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association Hall of Fame.