Newfoundland Growlers to hit the ice at Mile One this winter

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Newfoundland Growlers to hit the ice at Mile One this winter

The Newfoundland Growlers, St. John's newest professional hockey team, are set to hit the ice at Mile One Centre this winter.

The Growlers, a franchise in the ECHL, will replace the St. John's IceCaps, which moved to Laval, Que. at the end of the 2016-2017 season. 

Musician Alan Doyle helped choose the team name. Doyle is the Growlers team ambassador. Owner Dean MacDonald jokingly likened his role with the Growlers to rapper Drake's role with the Toronto Raptors.

"It started online, on Twitter or something." said Doyle. "I just suggested two things: I said we could call it after the island. It doesn't have to be after the city."

"But also, I've said it so often, I can't believe we don't have a Newfoundland dog on a sports logo in Newfoundland. We have our own dog! What's cooler than that?"

Both of Doyle's suggestions made it into the final design, which was created by St. John's marketing company Idea Factory.

The team name, logo and colours are also inspired by both the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Newfoundland dog, which has been an emblem of the regiment almost since its inception.

A Newfoundland dog named Sable Chief served as the regiment's mascot during the First World War.

The Growlers are affiliated with the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs. Some Growlers players will be sent down from the parent club and it's official farm team, the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

Economic impact

But Growlers management will also be scouting and signing players of their choosing, and Stanford said he has his eye on several players from this province.

"There's no question, in our discussions with our NHL partners, we need to be competitive. That's what this city supports" said Stanford.

At an unveiling of the team's name, logo and jersey at the Rooms on Tuesday morning, St. John's mayor Danny Breen said that between the the Growlers and the St. John's Edge, Mile One Centre is now booked for 58 guaranteed nights this winter — a record number of bookings.

"Not only will this team have a significant economic impact for the city, but also shows a tremendous confidence in the economy the city." said Breen.

"It also allows our city and our province to be exposed across the North American market, which will benefit the convention, leisure and sport tourism segments of our tourism industry."

The Growlers will work in a partnership with the owners of the St. John's Edge basketball team, Irwin Simon and Rob Sabbagh.

The Edge tweeted a welcome to the hockey team on Tuesday.

Clarification : A previous version of this story indicated the Growlers would be playing 58 games at Mile One Centre. In fact, the Growlers and the St. John's Edge, combined, will play 58 games. (May 22, 2018 11:18 AM)