Bison Arena To Be Renamed The Wayne Fleming Arena

Bison Arena To Be Renamed The Wayne Fleming Arena —

Bison Sports, Faculty of Kinesiology & Recreation Management and the University of Manitoba proudly announce the renaming of the arena at the Fort Garry campus will now be known as the Wayne Fleming Arena located at the Max Bell Centre. 

Fleming left a lasting legacy with the Bisons and university as a player and coach with Manitoba in 1970s and 80s


The official unveiling of the name will occur at the Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey season home opener on Friday, October 4 against the Alberta Golden Bears at 7 p.m. CT. 

Fleming left a lasting legacy with the Bisons and university as a player with Manitoba for four years in the 1970s plus Bison men’s hockey head coach for nine seasons in 1980s. Fleming fought a courageous battle with brain cancer and passed away on Monday, March 25, 2013 at the age of 62.


“We would like to thank everyone responsible for this wonderful tribute to Wayne, in recognition of his commitment and contribution to the University of Manitoba Bisons Men’s Hockey Program. We are deeply honoured, ” commented the Fleming family.

Fleming was a Snowflake, MB born hockey player who played four years for the Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team in the 1970s (1970-71, ’71-72, ’72-73 and ’74-75). While playing, he graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education in 1973 and then Certificate in Education in 1975 at the University of Manitoba. 

After his graduation and his playing days were over, Fleming continued to be on the University of Manitoba campus as he was the assistant coach of the Bison men’s hockey team for the next three years (1976-77 to 1979-80) and then moved from assistant to head coach in 1980-81 and was at the helm of the Bisons for nine seasons (1980-81 to 1986-87 and 1988-89 and ’89-90). During those productive years, Fleming guided the Bisons to back-to-back GPAC (defunct now Great Plains Athletic Conference) Championships from 1983-84 (regular season record: 19-4-1) and 1984-85 (17-3-4) plus named GPAC Coach of the Year in 1982-83 and 1984-85 and also selected as Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (now CIS) Coach of the Year in 1984-85. His Bisons head coach conference regular season record for his nine seasons was 140-78-14 (a winning percentage of .634). 

Fleming’s legacy is more about the positive impact he had on shaping the lives of his players and students than just wins and loses. He was an exceptional coach, teacher, mentor and friend.  

Fleming was influential in advancing the hockey careers of numerous Bison hockey student-athletes to professional hockey in North America and Europe. Notable players and coaches include former National Hockey League (NHL) players: Mike Ridley, Stu Grimson and Ron Talakoski, current NHL Head Coach Barry Trotz, current Bison men’s hockey head coach Mike Sirant, and former Olympians Vaughn Karpan and Mark MacKay. Of greater importance is the impressive list of Fleming’s former student-athletes who have become positive leaders in our community in diverse roles such as doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, coaches, sport administrators, policemen and businessmen. 

After Manitoba and his successful tenure, Fleming continued to be very prominent in his coaching career both internationally and at the National Hockey League (NHL) level.He was part of the Canadian National Team from 1990-92 in the role of assistant coach and general manager as they proceeded to win a silver medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics. Then from 1992 until 1996, he was the head coach of Leksands IF of the Swedish Elitserien. Fleming was coach of the Landshut Cannibals in Germany for one year before returning to North America to become an assistant coach with the New York Islanders in 1997-98 for two seasons. He was also an assistant coach in the NHL for the Phoenix Coyotes (1999-00, ’00-01), the Philadelphia Flyers (2002-03 to 2005-06), the Calgary Flames (2006-07, ’08-09) and finished with the Tampa Bay Lightning (2010-11 and 2011-12). Fleming continue his success internationally as he went back to the Canadian national program in 2000 and was named the Vice President, Hockey by Hockey Canada and served as an associate coach for the national team when it captured a gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics Games (first gold for Canada’s men’s hockey team in 50 years) and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. 

Wayne Fleming was inducted into the Manitoba Bisons Men’s Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.  

Numerous members of the Fleming family, including his wife Carolyn and four children, will be in attendance at the official unveiling of the Wayne Fleming Arena on October 4. 

Bison Notes: In addition the to the re-naming of the arena at The University of Manitoba Fort Garry campus on Friday, October 4, there will be a presentation of the first annual Wayne Fleming Legacy Scholarship that was established earlier this year. There will also be Bison men’s hockey alumni in attendance to support and remember Fleming for his lasting impact to the program and the university. There will be a reception during the first period intermission.

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