St. John's Maple Leafs
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St. John's Maple Leafs
St. John's Maple Leafs
St johns maple leafs 200x200.png
City St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
League American Hockey League
Operated 1991-2005
Home arena Mile One Centre and Memorial Stadium
Colours Blue and White
Owner(s) Maple Leaf Gardens Limited
Media CJYQ
Affiliates Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Franchise history
1978-1982 New Brunswick Hawks
1982-1986 St. Catharines Saints
1986-1991 Newmarket Saints
1991-2005 St. John's Maple Leafs
2005-present Toronto Marlies
Championships
Regular season titles 1 (1993-94)
Division Championships 3 (1992-93, 1993-94, 1996-97)
Conference Championships 1 (1991-92)
Calder Cups 0

The St. John's Maple Leafs were an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada at Memorial Stadium from 1991 to 2001, and at Mile One Stadium from 2001 to 2005.

While the AHL had a strong presence in Atlantic Canada in the 1980s and 1990s, largely due to the desire of several National Hockey League Canadian franchises to continue to pay players sent down to the minors in Canadian dollars, by 2004 St. John's was the last remaining team in the region prior to its relocation.

History

The Leafs' AHL franchise was established in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1978 as the New Brunswick Hawks, where they played until 1982. The franchise also had stops in St. Catharines, Ontario, as the St. Catharines Saints (1982-1986) and Newmarket, Ontario, as the Newmarket Saints (1986-1991).[1] The St. John's Maple Leafs were established in 1991 when the Toronto Maple Leafs moved its AHL farm team to St. John's, becoming the first professional ice hockey team in Newfoundland and Labrador. The team played their home games at the Memorial Stadium until 2001, when they moved to the Mile One Centre, where they remained until becoming the Toronto Marlies.

The Maple Leafs were very popular throughout their existence, and they made multiple appearances in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs (only missing the playoffs in 2000, 2003 and 2004). The team was in the Calder Cup finals in their inaugural season, losing 4-3 to the Adirondack Red Wings, but they won the semifinal round by earning the most points during the regular season out of the three remaining teams in the playoffs, the others being the Red Wings and the Rochester Americans. Their first season was the only time the team made it to the finals, and they never made it past the conference semi-finals round after that. They made subsequent appearances in the second round, losing 4-0 in 1993 to the eventual Calder Cup champion Cape Breton Oilers, and lost the second round in their remaining appearances, all of which were won by the conference champions for the season, losing 4-2 to the Moncton Hawks in 1994, 4-3 to the Hamilton Bulldogs in 1997, and 4-0 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2002. However, the team was the division champion for the 1992-93 and 1996-97 seasons, and won the regular season title for the 1993-94 AHL season.

On April 29, 2005, the Maple Leafs played their final game, Game 5 of the division semi-finals round of the playoffs against the Manitoba Moose at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, losing 4-0. This was one week after the Maple Leafs' final home game (Game 2 of the first round), a 6-1 victory over the Moose, which was to be their final victory. It officially marked the end of 34 consecutive seasons of the AHL's presence in Atlantic Canada, which began in 1971 with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The desire of the parent Toronto Maple Leafs to reduce travel costs and to have a tenant for the Ricoh Coliseum resulted in the team's relocation to Toronto for the 2005-06 season.[2]

In 2011, when the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers moved to become the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets, the Manitoba Moose moved to Newfoundland to become the St. John's IceCaps, becoming the first AHL team in Atlantic Canada in six years. Coincidentally making the final St. John's Maple Leafs game, one between the outgoing St. John's team and the future St. John's team. After the departure of the St. John's IceCaps in 2017, St. John's was awarded an ECHL team called the Newfoundland Growlers to begin play in the fall of 2018. The Growlers were later named the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Marlies, returning the Leafs presence to St. John's.

Mascot

Buddy the Puffin

The team's mascot was Buddy the Puffin, an anthropomorphic puffin (the bird of Newfoundland and Labrador) wearing a Maple Leafs home jersey with the number #92 (to commemorate 1992, the year Buddy was introduced), who appeared at Maple Leafs home games in St. John's and numerous appearances at events across Newfoundland and Labrador. The puffin design of the mascot was selected as the winner in a fan contest to create a mascot for the team for its second season, and was officially given the name of "Buddy" just before the beginning of the 1992-93 season. Buddy was reintroduced as the mascot of the St. John's IceCaps on October 21, 2011, complete with an IceCaps home jersey; the jersey remains numbered #92.

Media

Games were broadcast on radio by VOCM (and by CJYQ in later seasons) and on television by Cable Atlantic's Cable 9 channel available on Cable Atlantic systems in Newfoundland and Labrador. Cable Atlantic was sold to Rogers Communications in 2001 by its owner, Danny Williams, before he became leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and later Premier from 2003 to 2010, and Cable 9 would become known as the Newfoundland and Labrador version of Rogers TV.

Affiliates

Coaches

Notable alumni

Season-by-season results

Regular season

Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL SOL Points Goals
for
Goals
against
Standing
1991-92 80 39 29 12 -- -- 90 325 285 2nd, Atlantic
1992-93 80 41 26 13 -- -- 95 351 308 1st, Atlantic
1993-94 80 45 23 12 -- -- 102 360 287 1st, Atlantic
1994-95 80 33 37 10 -- -- 76 263 263 2nd, Atlantic
1995-96 80 31 31 14 4 -- 80 248 274 3rd, Atlantic
1996-97 80 36 28 10 6 -- 88 265 264 1st, Canadian
1997-98 80 25 32 18 5 -- 73 233 254 4th, Atlantic
1998-99 80 34 35 7 4 -- 79 246 270 2nd, Atlantic
1999-00 80 23 45 8 4 -- 58 202 277 5th, Atlantic
2000-01 80 35 35 8 2 -- 80 247 244 3rd, Canadian
2001-02 80 34 27 17 2 -- 87 256 240 3rd, Canadian
2002-03 80 32 40 6 2 -- 72 236 285 3rd, Canadian
2003-04 80 32 36 8 4 -- 76 225 265 7th, North
2004-05 80 46 28 5 1 -- 98 244 232 2nd, North

Playoffs

Season Prelim 1st round 2nd round 3rd round Finals
1991-92 -- W, 4-1, CB W, 4-0, MON bye L, 3-4, ADK
1992-93 -- W, 4-1, MON L, 0-4, CB -- --
1993-94 -- W, 4-1, CB L, 2-4, MON -- --
1994-95 -- L, 1-4, FRE -- -- --
1995-96 -- L, 1-3, SJNB -- -- --
1996-97 -- W, 3-1, BNG L, 3-4, HAM -- --
1997-98 -- L, 1-3, SJNB -- -- --
1998-99 -- L, 2-4, FRE -- -- --
1999-00 Out of playoffs
2000-01 -- L, 1-3, QUE -- -- --
2001-02 W, 2-0, PRO W, 3-2, LOW L, 0-4, BRI -- --
2002-03 Out of playoffs
2003-04 Out of playoffs
2004-05 -- L, 1-4, MTB -- -- --

References

  1. ^ Ballou, Bill (2013-04-04). "AHL: Bracken Kearns easy Worcester Sharks MVP choice". Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Baby Buds move to Toronto". Retrieved 2012. 

See also


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

St._John's_Maple_Leafs
 



 

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