One of the better hockey players to come to Kimberley, British Columbia has passed on. His name was Johnnie Migneault.
Mr. Migneault came to the Senior A Kimberley Dynamiters on the recommendation of Ron ” Spike ” Huston, a team mate on the Phoenix Road Runners of the World Hockey Association (who were in the process of folding). Huston was a four time M.V.P. of the Western International Hockey League, so his word carried some weight here in the East Kootenay.
Back in the day
Miggsie was born in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, first skating on nearby Onion Lake. Then Junior Hockey came calling. John began with the Regina Pats, and then played three seasons with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League.
Johnnie turned Pro at age 20 and did something most Canadian hockey players would not dream of doing, take his young wife, Val, and their little ones, Tara, Justin and Trevor, on his professional hockey journey in the U.S. Most Kimberley Dynamiters Senior Hockey Players only had a sniff of the Pro Leagues in the States.Migneault certainly enjoyed the ” Full Meal Deal “and then some in his career in U.S. Professional Hockey.
Johnnie and Val really fell in love with Kimberley when they moved here in the mid 70s. They built their home here and raised their kids here, and in time became grand parents.
I am writing this today because Johnnie Migneault has just passed on at age 70.
John certainly looked like a tough guy in his hockey pictures, what with the wild hair and stitches which adorned his face. Truth be known, John took relatively few penalties. As his playing career with the Dynamiters was winding down, John entered the coaching arena. This would mark 20 seasons in hockey by the time he pulled the blades on for the last time. He told me the 20 years “went by in a blur”.
Tiger Bill Steenson, a former coach of the Kimberley Dynamiters once told me ” What you see is what you get with John Migneault, no B. S.” That would be Steener’s kind of guy for sure.
All in all John Migneault played in 258 World Hockey League Games, scoring 21 Goals for the Vancouver Blazers in one season, after being traded there by Philadelphia. I spoke with Johnnie this past fall. We did not speak about his illness, but the World Series that was going on. Migs was never a guy to dwell on the negative, so his health was not discussed. I do not think anyone enjoyed being in the dressing room more than Mr. Migneault. Practices, games, all of it. I am sure his wife Val, will attest to that.
Kimberley B.C. became a better place the day Johnnie Migneault, Val ,Tara, Justin and Trevor moved here. Rest in Peace Bud.