CJHL Life Members

RON BOILEAU

Former British Columbia Hockey League President Ron Boileau is remembered as a builder of the BCHL and Junior A hockey in Canada and as an ardent researcher and statistician.

Boileau’s relationship with the BC Hockey League began in 1988 when he served as Vice President and statistician. Ron then served as League President from 1990 to 2003. That span of 13 years makes him the longest running president in league history. In Canadian Junior A Hockey only Saskatchewan Junior A President Wayne Kartush lasted longer at 26 years.

Ron spent much time researching the BCHL back to its roots in 1961 and much of that data was contained in the 500 page League Media Guide which was used from 1997-2003 and was heavily supported by the media. He also compiled all BCHL stats from 1987 to 2003, and his last season in the BCHL was the 2004-2005 campaign in which he worked as Administrator for the Penticton Vees.

Ron Boileau was voted unanimously as an Honoured Member of the BCHL. He was also credited with starting the Canadian Junior A Hockey League. He was named the CJAHL’s first President and stats man from 1993 to 1998 when he had to step down due to cancer. Ron developed a league logo and forged a list of By-Laws to present to the League Presidents. He was unanimously voted an Honoured Member.

The Pacific Coast Hockey Association (1911-1926) was one of Ron’s passions. He became interested in the league because a number of today’s rules came from that Association. Everything from the forward pass to the playoff format, the awarding of assists, the penalty shot, and numbering on all player jerseys came from the PCHA. Ron tabulated all the stats for the PCHA which the Hockey Hall of Fame have taken as the true stats.

During his hockey career Ron also worked with the New Westminster Bruins of the WHL and the Delta Flyers of the Pacific Coast Junior B Hockey League.

FRANK MCKINNON

Frank’s long journey began in Brandon, Manitoba where he was extremely active in the sports of baseball and hockey. Over the years Frank played a major role in hockey development at many levels, including the beginning of what is now the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

In 1970, as the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Junior Hockey League left the branches of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to form the CHL, Frank tabled a motion at the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association’s annual general meeting that allowed the remaining Junior A leagues to compete at a national level for their own national championship. The motion was granted and McKinnon and the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association donated the Manitoba Centennial Trophy to the new championship in honour of 100 years of ice hockey in Manitoba.

In 1992 Frank became Commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL). He remained the Commissioner for a decade introducing many initiatives. One of his most important contributions as commissioner of the MJHL was his vision and proactive approach that brought the individual Junior A leagues operating in Canada closer together through the formation of the CJHL. The Canadian Junior Hockey League recognized Frank for his contributions to the league and the sport of Junior Hockey in Canada by honouring him as a Life Member of their organization.

Other highlights of Frank McKinnon’s incredible hockey and sports career include his induction into the Brandon University Hall of Fame and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame as a builder in sport, as well as his appointment as Chairman of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, Vice President and Director of the Sports Federation of Canada, Vice President of the Canadian Olympic Association, and as a Trustee of the Centennial Cup.

McKinnon served as a member of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association Executive for over 20 years, including one term as President. He previously received the Order of Canada for his lifetime of outstanding achievement and dedication to community service in Canada.

JOE DRAGO

Currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for Hockey Canada, Drago was previously the national governing body’s Executive Vice-Chair and succeeds outgoing chairman Jim Hornell in the position.

In addition to being known for his volunteerism, charity work in northeastern Ontario and a 12-year stint as commissioner of the NOJHL, Drago is also a former co-owner of the Sudbury Wolves where he spent 17 years in varying capacities including coach, general manager and president.

He also served on the executive of the Ontario Hockey League and is an honoured member of the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame where the Hall’s coach of the year award is named in his behalf.

Drago’s other accomplishments include being a member of the hospital board and foundation for nearly 30 years with them naming him their first Life Member.

Along with being a Life Member of the CJHL, he also serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the Alzheimer Society and the House of Kin.

Drago previously received the Community Builder’s Award for Sports and Recreation, a Hubby Award, is a Paul Harris Rotary Club honour recipient and one of his proudest accomplishments was being named the first northerner to receive the Ontario Medical Association’s Centennial Award.

WAYNE KARTUSH

The Regina, Sask., product played competitive hockey in the Regina Pats minor hockey system before graduating in 1958 to the junior program. Following two seasons with the pats, he received a scholarship to the University of Michigan, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science. A year later, he obtained his Masters in Education from Pittsburgh.

Kartusch came to hockey prominence as far as the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is concerned in 1972 when he took over as head coach of the Regina Pat Blues. In 1974, he was named SJHL Coach Of The Year.

He is best known, however, for serving as Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League President from 1977-2003, a span of 26 years. Never afraid to tackle issues and take on leadership roles across the country, Kartusch became Chair of Junior Hockey for Saskatchewan Hockey Association in 1979. Throughout his tenure, Kartusch developed the SJHL into a powerhouse amongst Junior ‘A’ hockey leagues in Canada as he oversaw the league during the glory years of the Prince Albert Raiders in the late 1970’s.

During his time as President of the SJHL, Wayne was a Director of the Junior Council for the Canadian Hockey Association and served on the Hockey Development Council. While at the Hockey Development Council, Kartusch was instrumental in the creation of the Canadian Development Model which is still used nation-wide to this day in developing players from a young age all the way up through junior hockey and beyond. This model has been adopted by almost every hockey nation to encourage growth of their hockey programs.

Upon retiring his post from the SJHL in 2003, Kartusch was immediately heaped with an abundance of awards and recognition. He was given a lifetime membership with the SHA, the highest honor attainable. He was also bestowed as an Honorary Life Member with the CJHL and given Hockey Canada’s highest honor with the Volunteer Of The Year. The SJHL honored Kartusch with the William Shinske Award as Builder Of The Year.

Kartusch was enshrined in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall Of Fame in 2007 and he’s now an inaugural member of the SJHL Hall Of Fame.

MARTY KNACK

Knack was the President of the AJHL from 1993-98, and then he was the President of the Canadian Junior `A’ Hockey League (CJAHL) until his passing in 2005.

Passionate about the Jr. A hockey right across the country, his career as a sports reporter is well documented but what is not as well known was his tireless work towards fair and equal treatment for the Jr A player.

Marty served CJAHL President for a number of years and was also its Director of Media Relations for a time.

He was appointed by Hockey Canada to sit on the Jr. Issues Committee and used his “scribe” to promote the game, most of which was found in his “CJAHL Notes” that were distributed around the country.

Along with being President of the CJHL and AJHL, Knack also held similar roles with the SJHL and was a well-regarded journalist with the Edmonton Journal and was formerly the Media Director of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger Cats.

JOHN GRISDALE

Grisdale earned this prestigious award in honour and recognition of his many years of service, dedication and commitment to Jr. A hockey across Canada in both British Columbia and the entire CJHL.

Grisdale became the sixth individual in CJHL history to earn this distinguished accolade.

The CJHL has also announced the introduction of the John Grisdale Top Prospects Award, which will be presented annually to the highest selected CJHL player taken in each year’s NHL Draft.

John was a tireless and dedicated worker on behalf of both the BCHL and the CJHL, since his installation as BCHL Commissioner.

His vision and willingness to work with all elements of the game, have contributed greatly to the success of both the BCHL and the CJHL, as well as gaining him the utmost respect of his colleagues, within the CJHL.

Grisdale has spent the past 15 seasons as commissioner of the BCHL, having held that league’s top job longer than any person in BCHL history. He succeeded now fellow CJHL Life Member Ron Boileau, who retired as BCHL President back in 2003.

As a player, he attended and graduated from Michigan Tech University before signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Grisdale would eventually move on to the Vancouver Canucks where he would spend the bulk of his 250-game NHL career.

Under his tenure, BCHL teams have captured five RBC Cup Canadian national Junior A titles while 67 BCHL players have been chosen in the NHL Draft, including five first round selections.

The Canadian Junior Hockey League is humbled by the outstanding contributions these men have made to Junior A hockey.