By now we’ve all heard of the Prince Albert Mintos. They finished the round-robin an impressive 5-0, hammered Chateauguay 8-0 in semi-final action and their leading scorer Matthew Robinson is leaving crowds in awe with his goal scoring touch.
All of this only leads to only one question: What on earth is a Minto?
Minto’s assistant coach Wally Lynds said the team is named after a district in Scotland.
Back in the 1800s, the land was controlled by a baron without a proper name of distinction. They decided to call him the Earle of Minto, or Lord Minto.
The fourth Earle of Minto came to Canada in 1884, working together with general Middleton in the Riel rebellion before being named governor general of Canada in 1904, he said.
“At that time Canada was looking for ways of showing unification and national identity and as such, sports and past times became very popular. Any of the sports that really started to grow and catch on, a lot of the politicians got behind them and supported them because it helped promote national unity and identity in Canada as a young country.”
The Stanley Cup was made by Lord Stanley around this time, as well as the Gray cup, he said.
“Those politicians through that era tried to promote and support sports and that’s why a lot of our national trophies are connected to high profile politicians.”
Lord Minto made the Minto cup at this time, which is still a national junior lacrosse
The link wasn’t just between politicians and trophies, but between politicians and teams as well, he said.
“There was a senior hockey team started in Prince Albert in 1909 and they called themselves the Mintos.”
Deemed a professional team in 1911 because of two payed players, the Mintos were allowed to compete for the Stanley Cup.
“In 1911, they went to Winnepeg and played off against an Ontario team called the Bearcats and were beat in a two game series. The Bearcats then went back to Ontario and played off against the Ottawa Senators, who won the Cup.”
The Mintos senior team stayed afloat until the 1930’s, then changed into a junior team, he said.
“In the late 40’s right up into the 60’s they were a Junior A hockey team and played in the Saskatchewan junior hockey league.”
When an arena was built in Prince Albert in the mid 1900’s they called it the Minto
The Minto arena burnt down in 1961 and without enough money to build another, there was no Mintos team for the next 10 years.
In 1972 the present day Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL were formed as a provincial Junior A team. They had a contest to see what the team’s name would be, the winner chose the name Mintos, said Lynds.
“One gentleman actually bought the original Mintos club and the name so the junior team picked the second name of Raiders instead.”
After a number of years a couple of local men were granted permission to start a team, which they called the Prince Albert Midget Raider Mintos, he said.
“The reason the Raider name was in there is because the original Midget AAA hockey team was administered by the Junior Raiders team.”1n 1995 when the minor hockey association of Prince Albert took over the Mintos Midget team the Raiders name was dropped, making them the Prince Albert AAA Midget Mintos.
“It’s been that way ever since,” he said.
“In actuality the Midget AAA team hasn’t been in existence for a long time but the Mintos name in hockey has been in Prince Albert since 1909.”