Calgary, AB. - It is with great sadness the Western Hockey League today announced that Ed Chynoweth, WHL Chairman of the Board and President of the Kootenay Ice Hockey Club, passed away this morning in Calgary.
Born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan, Chynoweth, 66, was the driving force behind the growth and development of Major Junior Hockey throughout Canada over the past four decades. Chynoweth’s career in both the WHL and the Canadian Hockey League spanned 37 years. He was appointed President of the WHL in 1972 and held that position for 23 years before becoming the majority owner of a WHL expansion franchise in Edmonton in 1996. The franchise relocated to Cranbrook, British Columbia in 1998.
Chynoweth also played a major role in the game at the national level, serving as President of the CHL for 20 years from 1975 – 1995. During his tenure as CHL President, Chynoweth was instrumental in forming the partnership between CHL and Hockey Canada in 1981 to oversee Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team. The Hockey Canada and CHL partnership led to the formation of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence and Canada’s dominance in International Hockey at the junior level.
Chynoweth, the WHL Chairman of the Board until his passing, has served in this capacity on two separate occasions since 1996 and also has served as a member of the CHL Board of Directors.
“The WHL and the entire Canadian hockey community have lost a great leader today in Ed Chynoweth”, commented WHL Commissioner, Ron Robison. “The success the WHL and our Member Clubs are experiencing today is a direct result of the vision and leadership Ed Chynoweth provided to this League over the past 37 years.”
As President of the Kootenay Ice, Chynoweth together with his son Jeff, who is Vice-President and General Manager, have operated one of the most successful franchises in the WHL, having recorded the top winning percentage in the WHL over the past 10 years. The Kootenay Ice captured the WHL Championshiptwice in 20, and went on to win the Memorial Cup National Championship in Guelph in 2002.
Ed’s son Dean was a defenseman with the Medicine Hat Tigers when they won back to back Memorial Cup Championships in 19. In his capacity as CHL President in 1988, Ed had the privilege of presenting his son Dean, as Captain of the Tigers, the Memorial Cup. Dean is enjoying a successful WHL career currently serving as General Manager and Head Coach of the Swift Current Broncos.
Ed is also survived by his wife Linda of 45 years. Ed and Linda have resided in Calgary since 1976. Prior to moving to Calgary with the transfer of the WHL headquarters, Ed and Linda resided in Saskatoon.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced later this week.