MOOSE JAW CIVIC CENTER

MOOSE JAW, SASKATCHEWAN

All of the legendary rinks in our One T Society, so far, have been “barns” that are still open and active with hockey.  This month we are adding a rink that was retired by the wrecking ball just under 5 years ago, but in many ways remains one of the most epic rinks in Western Canadian hockey history.

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The 3,146 seat Moose Jaw Civic Center was officially opened on September 19th, 1959 with a gala performance by legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong. 

Designed by Saskatchewan architect Joseph Pettick, the facility won the Massey Medal for architecture, which represents the highest architectural honor in Canada.

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The Civic Center was recognized for its innovative cable structure roof that gave the building its unique shape and led to its nickname: “The Crushed Can”.  The cable roof was considered an ingenious and cost effective solution that allowed the small town of Moose Jaw to build a large arena on a reasonable budget, while maintaining an unobstructed view of the ice from all seats. In fact, the final cost of the building was a mere $525,000. 

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The Crushed Can’s primary tenant for 26 seasons was the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League.   The Warriors moved from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw in 1983 – 84. Interestingly, despite graduating many players on to the National Hockey League, the Warriors have never won a WHL Championship.   They have won three division titles in 2003 – 04, 05 – 06, and 11 – 12.  The 2005 - 06 season was the best in franchise history, but the Warriors ultimately lost to the Vancouver Giants in the WHL finals.

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The Warriors list of alumni that went on to the NHL is long and illustrious and includes: Chris Armstrong, Lonny Bohonos, Johnny Boychuk, Kelly Buchberger, Deryk Engelland, Travis Harmonic, Sheldon Kenneddy, Paul Kruse, Darryl Laplante, and Jason Widmer to name a few.  The team has also retired four numbers: 9 Theoren Fleury, 24 Kelly Buchberger, 25 Mike Keane, and 28 Ryan Smyth.

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Though the Crushed Can has been replaced in Moose Jaw by the modern and much larger Mosaic Place, its legend will live on in the annals of hockey history.

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