ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – The Newfoundland Growlers announced that the team will serve as the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League and Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
“We are thrilled to announce our affiliation with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies,” stated Dean MacDonald, Chairman of Deacon Sports & Entertainment. “The Toronto Maple Leafs have a rich and storied past and the Growlers are excited to be a part of their future. We want to thank the Maple Leafs for their belief in our organization and we look forward to working with them as we bring ECHL hockey to the wonderful fans of our province.”
The announcement marks the second occurrence that Newfoundland & Labrador will serve as a proving ground for Maple Leaf prospects as the NHL club previously held a 14-year affiliation with the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League from 1991 until 2005. After the 2005-06 season the American Hockey League franchise moved to Toronto and became known as the Marlies and currently play out of the Ricoh Coliseum where they are facing off against the Texas Stars in the 2018 Calder Cup Finals.
“We are excited to begin our relationship with the Newfoundland Growlers as our newest ECHL affiliate,” said Kyle Dubas, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “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 as historically meant a lot to the Maple Leafs, is a truly special opportunity.”