Legends of Hockey - Induction Showcase - Ed Chynoweth
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Ed Chynoweth - Builder Category
Honoured Posthumously
Chynoweth was the first full-time President of the Western Canada Hockey League and was one of the founders of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League. (James Kelly/HHOF)
By percentage, Saskatchewan has sent more players to the National Hockey League than any other province or territory, and one of the contributing reasons is the influence of one man - Ed Chynoweth.

As CMJHL President, Chynoweth congratulates future NHL netminder Mike Vernon for his Memorial Cup winning victory as a member of the Portland Winter Hawks. (HHOF Images)
Born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan, Ed was raised in nearby Coleville, both west of Saskatoon not far from the Alberta border. During some twenty years living in Saskatoon, Chynoweth rose through the hockey ranks and became president of the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association. He also made his first forays into junior hockey by joining the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Canada Hockey League as assistant general manager in 1971-72. That fall, Ed embarked on the career that brought him to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In November 1972, he became the first full-time president of the Western Canada Hockey League (now known as the WHL), and held that position through 1996 with the exception of the 1979-80 season when he took on an ownership role and was general manager of the league's Calgary Wranglers.

In his role as president of what we know today as the WHL, Chynoweth was instrumental in forging a partnership between the WHL, the Ontario Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, forming the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League (now known as the CHL) in 1973-74. Ed became the first president of the CMJHL in 1975-76, a position he held until June 1995, while still maintaining his presidency of the WHL.

Chynoweth presents Dan Hodgson of the Prince Albert Raiders with the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the MVP of the Memorial Cup tournament. (HHOF Images)
Ed was chairman of the 1974 Memorial Cup tournament, and took that same role each spring that the Memorial Cup series was hosted by a WHL franchise.

In August 1995, a team headed by Chynoweth was awarded an expansion franchise in the WHL. Ed was named president and governor of the newly-created Edmonton Ice from 1996-98, and then maintained the roles when he relocated the Edmonton franchise to Cranbrook, British Columbia in 1998. Ed was governor and president of the Kootenay Ice from until 2008. He was also the chairman of the board for the WHL from 1996 to 1998, and again from 2004 until 2007.

Ed's influence permeated many levels of hockey. He played an instrumental role in getting the CMJHL and the CAHA (Canadian Amateur Hockey Association) to form a joint committee that would oversee and operate Canada's World Junior Team program.

Chynoweth proudly served on the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee from 1990 until his passing in 2008. (Kelly Masse/HHOF)
He was appointed to the Federal Government Commission of Fair Play in 1986 and in 1987, was appointed to the International Centre of Excellence and Hockey Development Committee. He also served on the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee from 1990 until 2008.

Ed Chynoweth was rewarded many times over for his substantial contributions to the game. In both 1977 and 1983, he was the recipient of the CMJHL Distinguished Service Award. In 1986, Ed was awarded the CAHA Order of Merit for service to Canadian Amateur Hockey. In 1996, the CHL named its award for the top scorer in the Memorial Cup tournament the Ed Chynoweth Trophy. The WHL Championship Trophy was renamed the Ed Chynoweth Cup in May 2007. He was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, and into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builder category in 2008.

Ed Chynoweth died in Calgary on April 22, 2008. Perhaps his proudest legacy is that both of his sons, Jeff and Dean, carry on in their father's footsteps. Both boys are currently general managers in the WHL.