The bid for the Memorial Cup by the Brandon Wheat Kings has seen support come from all around the region, and local athletes Ben McCartney and Lynden McCallum are both voicing their support for the team.

McCartney, who hails from MacDonald, played four years with the Wheat Kings himself and says he feels this is something the entire region can get behind.

"I think it's exciting for the community, and I think the community has been waiting for something like that for a while now. It'd be great for the game of hockey around Brandon and the Manitoba region. Being a guy who played in Brandon for four years, I know how passionate the fans are, and how great a city it is, and how much they care about hockey and the Wheat Kings. I think it'd be a great opportunity for the city of Brandon."

McCartney adds what his message is to those who might have a chance to play in that tournament.

"To win a championship, it's pretty tough. And being able to have a chance to play in the Memorial Cup, being the host team, it's an unbelievable opportunity to be able to play against the top teams in the league, and a chance for a team to have a run and to win the last game of the year in the CHL."

Ben McCartney lines up for a faceoff (Photo credit: Tucson Road Runners)Ben McCartney lines up for a faceoff (Photo credit: Tucson Road Runners)

McCartney and McCallum were teammates on the Wheat Kings during the Bubble year, which saw them compete against teams within their division. The Wheat Kings were a force in the tournament, claiming the Subway Cup, but unfortunately, there was no further play afterward.

McCallum, who was born in Portage and moved to Brandon during his youth, describes what he thinks the reaction from the city would be like if they won the bid.

"The city would be ecstatic, obviously. Brandon has great fans, and such a rich history of junior hockey in the city. I know that it was a huge success when they hosted back 2010. The Wheat Kings ended up losing in the finals that year, but I remember going to games as a kid, and it was absolutely packed and loud in there. So, yeah, I'm sure it would mean a lot to the city if they won the bid."

He adds his message to the young men who could possibly join the team and play in the tournament, come spring 2026.

"I think it would just be, 'It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.' Unfortunately, I was never able to play in the tournament, but I think when you're playing in the CHL, that's everyone's end goal and dream. And if those guys get the chance to do that, it's pretty special, and they'll want to make the most of that opportunity."

Lynden McCallum in action with the Idaho Steelheads (Photo credit: Lisa Jordan - Idaho Steelheads) Lynden McCallum in action with the Idaho Steelheads (Photo credit: Lisa Jordan - Idaho Steelheads)

The only other club announced to be bidding for the Memorial Cup is the Kelowna Rockets. The announcement of the winner is expected to occur in late November of this year.