In case you missed yesterday’s news, the ECHL (formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League) officially announced that the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland has been awarded an expansion franchise for the 2018-19 season.
The new team is set to take the ice next season at St. John’s beautiful Mile One Centre and will be the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official ECHL affiliate, replacing the team’s current agreement with the Orlando Solar Bears.
Of course, the Maple Leafs have a long history in the city of St. John’s, as well. The Leafs housed their AHL farm team, the St. John’s Maple Leafs, in the city for decades before moving them to Toronto as the Marlies back in 2005.
With the Leafs organization now officially moving back to the city of St. John’s, many fans are calling for the return of the old St. John’s Maple Leafs. But according to a report from Robin Short of the St. John’s Telegram, the team’s ownership group has another name in mind.
Check it out:
The St. John’s Shamrocks… you know what? While we’re partial to the St. John’s Maple Leafs, the Shamrocks is still a pretty cool name.
Evidently there are other names that the group is considering, as well:
Fans of the movie series “Goon” may be familiar with the name Shamrocks, however:
Also, how great would a uniform like this look?
St. John’s last hosted professional hockey with the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL, affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets from 2011 until 2015 and as an affiliate of the Montreal Candiens from 2015 until 2017. The team is now defunct, but the team’s former chief operating officer, Glenn Stanford, is a major reason why St. John’s stands to get a new professional hockey team. Stanford and St. John’s businessman Dean MacDonald are behind the group’s expansion efforts.
St. John’s will join the ECHL as only it’s second Canadian franchise behind the Brampton Beast, ECHL affiliate of the Canadiens. While it has not yet officially been determined, the team will likely be a part of the league’s North Division with the Manchester Monarchs, Adirondack Thunder, Worcester Railers, Reading, Pa., Royals, Wheeling, W.V., Nailers and Brampton, Ont., Beast.
Breaking: Former Leafs goalie signs NHL contract
Former Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Antoine Bibeau has signed a two-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks with an average annual cap hit of $650,000.
The 23 year old native of Victoriaville, Quebec is having a stellar season in the AHL with the Sharks’ affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. In 33 games, Bibeau has 18 wins to go along with a respectable 2.09 goals against average and .928 save percentage.
Leafs fans may remember Bibeau from his brief audition last season where he put up a 1.99 goals against average and .927 save percentage in just two NHL games last season. After he was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Leafs this past summer, Bibeau hit the open market as an unrestricted free-agent and was quickly snapped up by the Sharks. Now, with another successful AHL season under his belt, it looks like Bibeau might be ready for NHL action. Did the Leafs blow it by letting this kid get away?