CINCINNATI, OH – Junior Cyclones Director of Hockey Operations Frank Banham will have his number hang along the rafters forever in Saskatoon. The former NHLer had his jersey retired by the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League earlier this March.

The #39 will shine over the SaskTel Centre for good after this month’s ceremony honoring Banham. A native of Alberta, Frank spent four seasons with the WHL team and left as the all-time leading goal scorer with 190 goals. Banham notched a Blades’ record 370 points as well throughout his time with the club.

With his family in attendance, the Jr. Cyclones Director of Hockey Ops. described the ceremony as “surreal.” Banham’s sons Blaze and Brock helped to unveil his jersey. “I started to get a little emotional.”

Former coaches and teammates spoke, before Frank himself took center stage to address the crowd and current Saskatoon skaters.

Following his time with the Blades, Banham went on to enjoy a pro career of over two decades both in North America and Europe. The right winger spent parts of three seasons from 1997-2000 playing for the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the AHL right here in the Queen City.

The 48-year-old reached the NHL with two different organizations and played in 32 games with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Phoenix Coyotes. Banham scored nine goals and recorded 11 points during his time playing up at the highest level.

Even during his playing career, Frank began to coach and train youth players which led to the development of his own summer hockey camp. Following retirement, the Banham’s returned to Greater Cincinnati and Frank has worked to grow hockey in the community ever since.

On March 1st, 2023, Banham was named the Director of Youth Hockey Operations for the Cyclones. With the new role, Frank has continued to develop recreational house and travel leagues, while strengthening the ‘Learn to Play’ programs in the area.

“We are very excited with the growth of our program in such a short period of time. When I came onboard approximately a year ago, we had around 35-40 youth players involved in our program. This past season we grew to approximately 170 players. Heading into this summer, we are projecting approximately over 500 kids involved in our program.”

Banham says that the youth program is much more than developing youth hockey in the area. It’s a chance to teach great life skills through the game that will carry on for life.

This summer, the Jr. Cyclones will continue to host all types of camps and clinics for all ages and levels. The organization has organized skating events for lower income families through our Cyclones Foundation as well. “This is a great feeling and very rewarding for us to have the opportunity to give back to our community and at the same time putting smiles on kids’ faces.”

“It’s very exciting for all of us. Of course, we have a lot of work to do with that amount of growth in such a short period of time, but we have a lot of great people involved and are all excited to be making a difference with youth hockey in the Tri-State region.”