Newfoundland Growlers

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Newfoundland Growlers
2018–19 ECHL season
Newfoundland Growlers logo.svg
CitySt. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Home arenaMile One Centre
ColoursGold, black
Owner(s)Deacon Investments LTD
Head coachRyane Clowe
Rogers TV
AffiliatesToronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Toronto Marlies (AHL)
Franchise history
2018–presentNewfoundland Growlers

The Newfoundland Growlers are a professional minor league ice hockey team in the ECHL based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The team began play in the 2018–19 ECHL season with home games at Mile One Centre. They are members in the North Division of the Eastern Conference and are affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League and Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.[1]


The search for a new professional hockey team for St. John's began after the departure of the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League. In July 2016, the Montreal Canadiens, who owned the franchise used by the club, confirmed the relocation of the team to the newly constructed Place Bell arena in Laval, Quebec, for the start of the 2017–18 season. Danny Williams, who ran the IceCaps and owned the team's intellectual property, stated his intentions to find another franchise with the AHL or another league.[2][3]

From that point two rival groups formed. The first were the operators of the St. John's Edge basketball team and current occupants of the Mile One Centre, who looked to secure a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise for the arena. The other, a group of local businessmen including ice hockey executive Glenn Stanford of the former IceCaps, were looking to secure an ECHL team.[4][5]

The ECHL franchise was conditionally approved for the Stanford-led group pending an arena deal but was delayed in late January 2018 after a dispute with the St. John's Edge ownership group over arena rights that led to arbitration.[6] After the lease issue was settled, the ECHL officially approved St. John's for entry into the league on March 13, 2018, to begin with the 2018–19 season, placing them in the North Division of the Eastern Conference.[7] The ECHL ownership group reportedly created a partnership with the Toronto Maple Leafs, which would bring the organization back to St. John's for the first time since the team relocated their American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's Maple Leafs, to Toronto in 2005.[8] The affiliation would eventually be confirmed on June 14.[1] Among the names considered for the new franchise were Shamrocks, Storm, Regiment, and Newfoundland Growlers.[9] The team announced its name as the Newfoundland Growlers on May 22, the name in reference to the Newfoundland dog specifically the World War I mascot of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Sable Chief. Ryane Clowe, a Newfoundland native, previously an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils, was named head coach on June 20.[10] John Snowden was added as assistant coach on July 19 after serving in the same capacity for the Maple Leafs' previous ECHL affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears.[11]

The Growlers played their first game on October 12, 2018, a 3–2 win over the Florida Everblades in front of a sold-out arena.[12]


Buddy the Puffin is the mascot of the Growlers. Buddy, a longtime sports mascot in St. John's was previously the mascot of the St. John's Maple Leafs and later the St. John's IceCaps. Buddy's number is 92, which represents 1992, the year that he was introduced as the mascot of the St. John's Maple Leafs. Buddy is also the mascot for the basketball team, the St. John's Edge.[13]

Current roster[edit]

As of October 25, 2018.[14]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace Contract
7 Russia Semyon Babintsev RW L 24 2018 Moscow, Russia Growlers
27 Canada Matt Bradley C R 21 2018 Vancouver, British Columbia Marlies
46 Canada Anthony Cortese D R 24 2018 Pierrefonds, Quebec Growlers
31 Canada Mario Culina G L 21 2018 Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario Growlers
4 Canada Andrew Darrigo D R 26 2018 Oakville, Ontario Growlers
16 Canada Hudson Elynuik C L 21 2018 Calgary, Alberta Marlies
29 Canada Giorgio Estephan C R 21 2018 Edmonton, Alberta Marlies
34 Canada Michael Garteig G L 27 2018 Prince George, British Columbia Marlies
24 Canada Alex Gudbranson D R 24 2018 Orleans, Ontario Marlies
22 United States Brady Ferguson LW L 24 2018 Lewisville, Texas Marlies
26 United States Josh Kestner RW R 25 2018 Huntsville, Alabama Marlies
23 Canada Stefan LeBlanc D L 22 2018 Oakville, Ontario Marlies
43 Canada James Melindy D R 25 2018 St. John's, Newfoundland Growlers
28 Russia Maxim Mizyurin C L 20 2018 Omsk, Russia Growlers
40 United States Ryan Moore C L 21 2018 Troy, Michigan Marlies
8 United States Evan Neugold D R 26 2018 Goshen, Connecticut Growlers
10 Canada Zach O'Brien RW R 26 2018 St. John's, Newfoundland Marlies
47 Canada Tate Olson D L 21 2018 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Growlers
2 Canada Adam Pardy D L 34 2018 Bonavista, Newfoundland Growlers
11 Canada Derian Plouffe C L 23 2018 Nepean, Ontario Marlies
12 United States Scott Pooley RW R 24 2018 Granger, Indiana Marlies
0 Slovakia Kristian Pospisil C L 22 2018 Zvolen, Slovakia Marlies
9 Canada Marcus Power C L 25 2018 St. John's, Newfoundland Growlers
5 Latvia Kristians Rubins D L 21 2018 Riga, Latvia Growlers
15 Canada Todd Skirving C L 26 2018 Thunder Bay, Ontario Growlers
44 United States Cody Smith D L 26 2018 Hudson, Massachusetts Growlers
42 Canada Carter Struthers D L 25 2018 Weyburn, Saskatchewan Growlers
18 Canada Scott Trask LW L 26 2018 St. John's, Newfoundland Growlers

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Newfoundland Growlers Announce Affiliation with Toronto Maple Leafs & Toronto Marlies". The Newfoundland Herald. June 14, 2018.
  2. ^ "IceCaps Seek New Hockey Partner". OurSports Central. July 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "Canadiens moving AHL affiliate to Laval in 17-18". AHL. July 11, 2016.
  4. ^ "A brand new hockey game at Mile One in St. John's?". The Telegram. December 7, 2017.
  5. ^ "Faceoff over Mile One: Local group seeks ECHL franchise for St. John's". The Telegram. December 8, 2017.
  6. ^ "Securing Of ECHL Team On Hold During Arbitration: MacDonald". VOCM-FM. January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "St. John's ECHL bid strikes partnership with Toronto Maple Leafs: sources". The Aurora. January 19, 2018.
  9. ^ "Newfoundland Growlers looks to be the name choice for new ECHL team". The Telegram. April 26, 2018.
  10. ^ "Ryane Clowe Named Head Coach of Newfoundland Growlers". June 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "John Snowden Hired as Newfoundland Growlers' Assistant Coach". July 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Growlers Win Inaugural Game". October 12, 2018.
  13. ^ News, NTV. "Buddy the Puffin coming out of retirement". Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  14. ^ "Newfoundland Growlers Elite Prospects". Retrieved July 13, 2018.

External links[edit]