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The Memorial Cup won’t be presented this season, but its history in Kingston will

Click to play video: 'The Memorial Cup and its Kingston history' The Memorial Cup and its Kingston history
WATCH: Tracing the history of the Memorial Cup – Mar 26, 2020

Earlier this week, the Canadian Hockey League cancelled playoffs in all three of its leagues, as well as the Memorial Cup.

Believe it or not, that marks the first time in the 102-year history of the trophy that it won’t be presented. But did you know the idea for the memorial came out of Kingston?

READ MORE: 2020 Memorial Cup, CHL playoffs cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

Mark Potter is a hockey historian as well as pase president of the original Hockey Hall of Fame.

“[It was] a very unique situation. You think about World War Two, the Memorial Cup still went on,” Potter explained.
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“It’s been awarded annually since 1919, and you think about what we’ve gone through over the years in over 100 years — many, many different crisis situations — so it’s quite remarkable that the Memorial Cup for the first time ever is being postponed.”

Click to play video: 'Peterborough Petes’ season officially over as CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial  Cup over coronavirus pandemic' Peterborough Petes’ season officially over as CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial Cup over coronavirus pandemic
Peterborough Petes’ season officially over as CHL cancels playoffs and Memorial Cup over coronavirus pandemic – Mar 24, 2020

The idea behind the Memorial Cup, the holy grail of major junior hockey, happened in the Limestone City over a century ago. Potter says it was all thanks to a Kingston native.

READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada

“It was Capt. James Sutherland who was overseas in World War One and there were two local Kingston hockey stars that were over there with him, Scotty Davidson and George Richardson, who were both killed in the line of duty,” Potter said.

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“Both went on to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and after the war ended in 1918, Capt. Sutherland came back to Canada [and] he decided that there were so many young hockey players who were cut down and lost their lives in the prime of their life that something had to be done to honour their sacrifice.

“It was Capt. Sutherland who proposed the idea of establishing a Memorial Cup.”

Click to play video: '101st Memorial Cup takes over downtown Halifax' 101st Memorial Cup takes over downtown Halifax
101st Memorial Cup takes over downtown Halifax – May 17, 2019

Truly a hometown story. A Kingston team has yet to win the Memorial Cup.

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