In 1969 a group of determined individuals lead by Ed Rutherford realized that after a player had finished with minor hockey there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities available to them to keep playing. The choices were slim. You were either Western Hockey League caliber, University (both the Westman and Bisons had teams) or the Winnipeg Monarchs of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, which travelled extensively throughout the Province including Thompson. A concept was developed to form a league where players attending school or enrolled in the work force could continue playing the game they loved, thus the birth of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League (MMJHL).
The Charleswood Hawks are an original member of the MMJHL which began its inaugural season in 1970-71. The team back then consisted mainly of players from St. James and the rest came from Charleswood, River Heights and Tuxedo. Ed Rutherford, one of the League’s founding fathers, was the first President of the Hawks. Ron Russell was the Hawk’s first coach and in their second season, the team was coached by Muzz MacPherson. Muzz went on to coach the Portage Terriers to a Centennial Cup win in 1974 (with a few former Hawks on his roster). A few years later he became the head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. One of his rookies wanted to wear the number 9 sweater, but it was already taken. Muzz suggested he wear 99. You know the rest.
The Hawks have also participated on the International hockey scene. In 1995, they hosted and played two games against the Hungarian National Junior Team. In 1996, they entertained the Swedish National under 18 Team, which graduated six players to the National Hockey League. In 1997, the Hawks hosted the defending U.S. College Hockey League Champions, the St. John’s University Johnnies, from Minnesota, and in 2003 the guests were the United States Hockey League Junior Champions from Rochester, Minnesota, the Minnesota Ice Hawks.
The Hawks are headquartered at Charleswood’s Eric Coy Arena, located at 535 Oakdale Drive. Our executives are dedicated, hard working volunteers, and include local business persons, parents, and those who just enjoy the game. We are supported by the Southwest Winnipeg Community, corporate sponsors, and elected officials. The Hawks play a 45 games schedule, with the majority of our home games played on Friday evenings.
WE DON’T REBUILD. WE RELOAD.