St. John's IceCaps
|St. John's IceCaps|
|2014–15 St. John's IceCaps season|
|City||St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Founded||1994 (As a member of the IHL) (First franchise)
1969 (Second franchise)
|Home arena||Mile One Centre|
Red, white and blue
|General manager||Craig Heisinger|
|Head coach||Keith McCambridge|
|Media||This Is Newfoundland Labrador.ca|
|Affiliates||Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Ontario Reign (ECHL)
|1994–1996||Minnesota Moose (IHL)|
|2001–2011||Manitoba Moose (AHL)|
|2011–2015||St. John's IceCaps|
Nova Scotia Voyageurs
|2015–present||St. John's IceCaps|
|Regular season titles||0|
|Division Championships||1 (2011–12)|
|Conference Championships||1 (2013–14)|
The St. John's IceCaps are a professional ice hockey team based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the American Hockey League (AHL). Starting with the 2015-16 AHL season, the Icecaps will be under the same name but a different franchise starting in the 2015-16 season. They will be the farm team of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team had previously been affiliated with the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets from 2011 to 2015. The IceCaps were also affiliated with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL.
The franchise was founded in 1994 as the Minnesota Moose, who at that time, were members of the International Hockey League. The team played two seasons in St. Paul, Minnesota before relocating to Winnipeg in 1996 following the departure of the original Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix, Arizona. The Manitoba Moose continued in the IHL until the league folded in 2001, at which time they joined the AHL and became the top affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks. During their ten years in the AHL, the Moose made it to the Calder Cup Finals once, in 2009, losing 4–2 to the Hershey Bears in the best-of-seven series.
In May 2011, True North Sports and Entertainment purchased the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers with the intention of relocating the team to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 NHL season. With the return of the NHL to Winnipeg, a new home was needed for Moose. A deal was reached with former Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams to relocate the AHL team to St. John's for the 2011–12 season. The AHL Board of Governors unanimously approved the franchise's relocation to St. John's on June 20, 2011. Later that day, Williams and True North Senior Vice President Craig Heisinger held an event at Mile One Centre officially announcing the relocation of the Manitoba Moose to St. John's. At the same time, True North made the new St. John's team the top affiliate of its new NHL team.
Coincidentally, the nearby community of Conception Bay South had been awarded the Kraft Hockeyville exhibition game for 2011, which would have featured the Atlanta Thrashers facing the Ottawa Senators. Because of the proximity of Conception Bay South to St. John's, the game between the Senators and the Jets was relocated to the Mile One Centre to accommodate larger crowds. This would be the first IceCaps-related game, as many of the Jets players were prospects who would be assigned to the IceCaps shortly after. The de facto home Jets defeated the Senators, 3–1.
The IceCaps played their inaugural game on October 7, 2011 in Providence, Rhode Island against the Providence Bruins. Their first home game was on October 14, 2011 against the Hamilton Bulldogs. In their inaugural season, the IceCaps finished first in Atlantic division and reached the Eastern Conference Championship series, falling in four games to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals.
After missing the playoffs in the 2012–13 season, the IceCaps would finish 2013–14 in second place in the Atlantic Division (46-23-2-5, 99 pts) and would return to the playoffs by earning the fourth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. The IceCaps defeated the Albany Devils 3 games to 1 in the conference quarterfinals and the Norfolk Admirals 4 games to 2 in the conference semifinals. On June 3, 2014, with a 5-0 victory over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Championship series, the IceCaps claimed the Richard Canning Trophy as Eastern Conference champions and advanced to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time since relocating to Newfoundland from Manitoba. This marked the second time that St. John's would be represented in the AHL Championship series and the first since the St. John's Maple Leafs advanced to the 1992 Calder Cup Finals against the Adirondack Red Wings. The IceCaps would be defeated in five games by the Western Conference Champion Texas Stars.
In January 2014, True North Sports and Entertainment chairman Mark Chipman confirmed that the organization was exploring plans to relocate their AHL franchise to Thunder Bay, Ontario after the current lease with Danny Williams' group expired in 2015. Although the IceCaps have been a financial success, the geographical location of St. John's has presented significant travel difficulties for Jets personnel. Williams stated he would try and find another team to bring to Newfoundland should the IceCaps leave.
In September 2014, True North and Williams' group agreed to extend their affiliation agreement through the 2015–16 season. However, news reports surfaced in March 2015 that Williams's group was close to reaching a deal that would see the Hamilton Bulldogs franchise relocate to Newfoundland for the 2015–16 season and True North's franchise move back to Winnipeg as the Manitoba Moose. These reports were later confirmed on March 12, 2015, when Williams' group announced that the IceCaps would be the primary affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens through the 2016–17 season. The team will still be known as the St. John's IceCaps.
Such reports were confirmed by the AHL on March 12, 2015, when the current IceCaps' return to Winnipeg was announced. However, the IceCaps identity will remain, to be taken up by the Montreal Canadiens' affiliate (previously known as the Hamilton Bulldogs) when they relocate to St. John's for the 2015–16 season.
Following the announcement of the team's relocation to St. John's, Williams stated that while he would prefer to hold a fan contest to name the team; however, with insufficient time before the start of the season, this task was brought to the team's advisory committee. The "Moose" moniker, which the team had used until that time, was immediately ruled out. The high volume vehicular accidents in Newfoundland and Labrador involving the animal was cited as one of the reasons behind not retaining the old name. Several media outlets soon started reporting that the team would be known as the St. John's IceCaps, this after St. John's IceCaps Inc. was registered with Newfoundland and Labrador's registry of deeds and companies. The official announcement was made on July 29, 2011.
Logos and uniforms
The St. John's IceCaps' colours were aviator blue, white, polar night blue, and silver; the same colours used by the Winnipeg Jets, their parent club. The IceCaps' home uniform was a white jersey with a polar night blue collar with aviator blue and silver trim, while their away uniform was a polar night blue jersey with aviator blue and silver trim, with the IceCaps logo placed on the front. These jerseys were styled from the Winnipeg Jets' jerseys. The IceCaps' jerseys also included the Winnipeg Jets' primary logo on the shoulder.
Buddy the Puffin is the mascot of the IceCaps. Buddy was previously the mascot of the St. John's Maple Leafs. Buddy's number is 92, which represents 1992, the year that he was introduced as the mascot of the St. John's Maple Leafs.
Newfoundland's isolated location in the easternmost part of Canada presented travel difficulties for teams flying to and from St. John's. Most flights to St. John's required a connection at Montréal or Toronto, which added to the length and cost of travel. In order to reduce costs for both the IceCaps and other AHL teams, teams traveling to St. John's usually played two games in a row.
|Calder Cup Champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||League Leader|
Records as of April 21, 2015.
|2011–12||76||43||25||5||3||94||.618||240||216||1st, Atlantic||2012||W, 3–1, SYR||W, 4–3, WBS||L, 0–4, NOR||—|
|2012–13||76||32||36||3||5||72||.420||195||237||5th, Atlantic||2013||Out of playoffs|
|2013–14||76||46||23||2||5||99||.651||258||207||2nd, Atlantic||2014||W, 3-1, ALB||W, 4-2, NOR||W, 4-2 WBS||L, 1-4 TEX|
|2014–15||76||32||33||9||2||75||.493||183||235||5th, Atlantic||2015||Out of playoffs|
|Totals||304||153||117||19||15||340||.550||876||895||2 Playoff Appearances|
- Goals: Eric O'Dell, 29, (2012–13)
- Assists: Jason Jaffray, 41, (2013–14)
- Points: Jason Jaffray, 59, (2013–14)
- Goals, Defense: Paul Postma, 13, (2011–12)
- Assists, Defense: Brenden Kichton (2013–14), Will O'Neill (2014–15), 38
- Points, Defense: Brenden Kichton (2013–14), Will O'Neill (2014–15), 48
- Penalty minutes: J.C. Lipon, 163, (2014–15)
- GAA: Michael Hutchinson, 2.30, (2013–14)
- SV%: Michael Hutchinson, .923, (2013–14)
Goaltender stats (min. 20 games played for the season)
- Career goals: Eric O'Dell, 72, (2011–15)
- Career assists: Jason Jaffray, 105, (2011–15)
- Career points: Jason Jaffray, 167, (2011–15)
- Career playoff goals: Eric O'Dell , 9, (2011–14)
- Career playoff points: Andrew Gordon, 19, (2013–14)
- Career playoff assists: Zach Redmond, 14, (2011–14)
- Career penalty minutes: Patrice Cormier, 316, (2011–15)
- Career goaltending wins: Eddie Pasquale, 55, (2011–14)
- Career shutouts: Eddie Pasquale, 9, (2011–14)
- Career games: Carl Klingberg, 248, (2011–15)
- "Jets sign California team as ECHL affiliate". Winnipeg Free Press. 2013-05-30.
- McGran, Kevin (May 28, 2011). "After Winnipeg, where does NHL go next?". Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
- "Williams behind new AHL team for St. John’s". The Telegram. May 21, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- "AHL team closer to coming to St. John's". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 1, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "Strictly a landlord with AHL team: St. John's". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 3, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "AHL returning to St. John's". American Hockey League. June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Pro hockey returning to St. John's". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- NHL set to play preseason games all over world. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- "Jets Exploring Move of AHL Team from St. John's to Thunder Bay". TSN.ca. January 21, 2014.
- "Jets keeping AHL IceCaps team in St. John's". The Hamilton Spectator. September 3, 2014.
- "Canadiens' AHL team moving from Hamilton to St. John's: reports". CBC.ca. March 6, 2015.
- "St. John’s New Home for Montreal Canadiens’ AHL Team". St. John's IceCaps. March 12, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
- "IceCaps usher in new wave of hockey to St. John's". Winnipeg Jets. July 29, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "Moose To Lose Name In St. John's Due To Animal's Deadly Past". The Canadian Press. June 10, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- "St. John's Ice Caps, anyone?". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
- Short, Robin (October 22, 2011). "Game melts away for IceCaps". The Telegram. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- Hockeydb.com, St. John's IceCaps season statistics and records.
- "stjohnsicecaps.com - Roster". Retrieved 2015-02-20.
- "TheAHL.com - St. John's IceCaps Roster". Retrieved 2015-02-20.
- http://www.stjohnsicecaps.com/ Official Website