SSHoF logoJim Piggott

Builder (1999)


Jim PiggottJim Piggott's association with hockey in Saskatoon began with the Quakers of the Western Pro Hockey League in 1951, continued through both professional and junior, and he became the founder of the Saskatoon Blades in 1966 and an original in the western Hockey League.

Jim was born on a farm near Bangor, Saskatchewan, in June 1903, attended school there, and left home at 22 to go into the construction business. Jim worked at every form of the construction business, learning the trade from the ground up, until he started his own firm in 1936.

With his business thriving, Jim looked to hockey as a pastime. He was first associated with the Saskatoon Quakers of the Western Pro League in 1951. As owner of the Saskatoon Regal franchise, Jim operated briefly in Regina, and then spent a season where the team divided its home games between Saskatoon and St. Paul, Minnesota, and then discontinued the Prairie connection after the 1959 season in Saskatoon. He later guided minor pro teams in Victoria and Los Angeles.

Jim operated the Saskatoon junior Quakers from 1955 until 1964, the Saskatoon Blades of the Saskatchewan Junior League from 1964 until 1966, then took the Blades into the Western Hockey League in 1966 while also maintaining an Olympic junior team in the Saskatchewan League from 1971 until 1976.

His Blades became a cornerstone of the Western Hockey League, his first team was coached by Jack McLeod, and Jim was also one of the first presidents of the league. His Blades developed many future professionals and ranked among the most successful franchises in Canada. He was a driving force in bringing Canada's three major junior leagues together under one roof. He is remembered today by the Canadian Junior League by a trophy, which is awarded annually to the WHL rookie of the year.

He applied for a National Hockey League franchise in Los Angeles but the NHL opted for ownership by Jack Kent Cooke, who formed the Los Angeles Kings.

Horse racing was also a favorite hobby of Jim and his wife, Vi, with his winning horse, Now You Know and jockey Tommy Stadnyk after a race in Edmonton in 1959. Jim died April 1, 1979.

** Deceased.