The Calgary Buffalo Hockey Association is a youth and junior hockey organization based in the city of Calgary, Alberta. The organization goes back to prior to World War II.
History[edit | edit source]
Not much information is available prior to a re-organization of Association in 1943.
The history of the organization dates prior to World War II and it is the oldest minor hockey association in Calgary. Previous players for the Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association such as Sam Timmins, Joe McGoldrick and Gord McFarlane were associated with the re-organization of this program in 1943 along with such businessmen as J.B. Cross, Jim Kerr and Dave Duchak.
CBHA 1943 – 1955[edit | edit source]
1943 – 1944: 6 Pee Wee teams (13 years old)
- 1944 – 1945: 6 Pee Wee teams, 4 Midget teams (14 – 16 years old)
- 1945 – 1946: 6 Pee Wee teams, 4 Midget teams, 4 Juvenile teams (under 18)
- 1946 – 1954: 6 Pee Wee teams, 4 Midget teams, 4 Juvenile teams, 4 Junior B teams, 1 Junior A team
Games were played in the Old Victoria Arena and practices were held early in the morning. Many players took streetcars, rode their bikes or walked in below zero weather to get there. Competition was strong among young players to play on a team. Out of this 1943 (Phase 1) many prominent players' names can be taken, for instance, Peter Lougheed (Premier of Alberta), Ron Southern (ATCO, Spruce Meadows) and Don Hartman (City of Calgary Alderman). Sid Finney, Hank Bassen, Bob Taylor, Frank McCool, Ron Stewart, and John Davidson among others went on and played in the NHL. These are just a few of the names of the many players who have gone on in careers and have contributed to society and hockey from the 1943 phase of the Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association. In the same era as the Old Victoria Arena, the Calgary Brewery owned the old Buffalo Stadium (baseball) north of 1st Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets (SW) and in the wintertime they built and flooded six hockey rinks used to operate their minor hockey league. From this league they developed a lot of good players and Calgary began to compete with Edmonton in the Provincial "A" Play-offs. With the closing of the Buffalo Stadium and the re-organization of the Calgary Community Sports Association, the Buffalo Athletic Association became dormant. According to historians and former association members: Jim Kerr, Bob Rintoul & Barry Milton, and substantiated by articles from the newspapers of the day, the only cost to a Buffalo player was his skates. The association welcomed 1300 hockey players to the ice during this first phase and spent in excess of $150,000 (1950 dollars) in these ten or so years! After a few years of operating the community leagues by the CCSA, players began to show up who were of obviously superior caliber to the average player in the community league. It was at this time that members and players of the old Buffalo Association met to discuss the possibility of reviving the Association to set up, coach and administer teams of Provincial "AA" caliber. They contacted Mr. J.B. Cross outlining their plans and received his full support. In the beginning the Association sponsored two midget teams and two juvenile teams, one taken from each side of the Bow River. The midget teams played in the CCSA juvenile league and the juveniles played in the CCSA Junior "B" league. IMPORTANT DATES October 6, 1960 -- Buffalo Athletic Association was reformed as the Ranger Buffaloes (Phase 2) at the Calgary Brewery and consisted of two midget teams, Rangers and Stampeders. November 15, 1964 -- The Midget and Juvenile "AA" leagues were set up and conformed to the Quadrant concept. The two juvenile "AA" teams added to the Association were taken over from the Old Timers Association who previously sponsored these clubs. November 1, 1965 -- The Bantam "AA" league was formed with one team in each quadrant. Two Bantam "AA" clubs were added to the Association. The teams were in the NW and SE quadrants. September 1, 1967 -- Two more Bantam "AA" and two Midget "AA" clubs were added to the organization (two of each age group now in each of the NW & SE quadrants). 1971/1972: One Junior ‘B’ team was added. This brought the number of teams in the organization to 13 with 260 boys in the NW and SE quadrants of the city. 1979/1980: Two Major Midget teams were formed in each quadrant and these teams played in the SAML 1983: The decision was taken due to the growth of the city and the natural boundaries of the quadrant system, to split the Ranger Buffalo Hockey Association into the North Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association and our present Calgary Buffalo Hockey Association 2006/2007: The Calgary Buffalo Hockey Association supports three Bantam AAA Teams (Blackhawks, Rangers, Bisons), two Midget A Teams playing in the SAML League, two AA Midget Teams (Blackhawks, Rangers), AAA Midget Buffaloes (playing in the AMHL), and two Junior B Teams (Blackhawks, Rangers) playing in the Calgary Jr. B Hockey League. 2007/2008:The Calgary Buffalo Hockey Association supports one AAA Bantam Team (Bisons), Two AA Bantam Teams (Rangers, Blackhawks,) two AAA Minor Midget Teams (15 year old players) playing in the SAML League (Blackhawks, Rangers), two AA Midget Teams (Blackhawks, Rangers), AAA Midget Buffaloes (playing in the AMHL), and two Jr. B Teams (Blackhawks, Rangers) playing in the Calgary Jr. B Hockey League. The changes to team structure were made that year at the request of Hockey Alberta in support of their Hockey Development model. 2008/2009: The Calgary Buffalo Hockey Association maintains the same team organization and league alliances developed in the 2007/2008 season. One minor change is the AAA Major Midget Buffaloes now play in a full provincial interlock schedule - traveling from Lethbridge and Medicine Hat in the south to Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray to the north. 2012/2013: That year welcomed the addition of the Bantam AA Wranglers as each quadrant grew by one Bantam AA team making the city total of 12.