It’s not the first time the Leafs have had a minor-league team in Newfoundland; from 1991 to 2005, their AHL affiliate was known as the St. John’s Maple Leafs. That club moved to Toronto and became the Marlies for the 2005-06 season.
“We are excited to begin our relationship with the Newfoundland Growlers as our newest ECHL affiliate,” said Leaf GM Kyle Dubas in a press release. “This is an important investment for our hockey club as we remain committed to giving our players the best resources possible to ensure their development and professional success. To now have our ECHL affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a town and province which has historically meant a lot to the Maple Leafs, is a truly special opportunity.”
The Growlers will compete in the North Division of the Eastern Conference of the 27-team league in their inaugural season and play out of Mile One Arena.