NTV News has learned a deal has been struck in St. John’s to bring an East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) expansion team to St. John’s. The deal will work to coincide with the St. John’s Edge basketball team – adding an estimated extra 40 nights of professional sports to Mile One Centre.
Sources tell NTV a team should be in place for the 2018-19 ECHL season. However, like the new pro basketball franchise, much work has to be done before the team hits the ice. The club will need to acquire players and embrace a team name.
Pro hockey has a steep history in St. John’s, having been played here for more than two decades. The St., John’s Maple Leafs arrived in 1991 and would stay in the city for almost two decades.The major junior game would spend a few years in St. John’s before, again, the AHL returned with the St. Johns IceCaps.
There was speculation about an Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team coming to St. John’s but NTV has learned the ECHL will be adding an expansion team to Newfoundland and Labrador.
NTV’s Kelly-Anne Roberts is chasing the story and will have more at 6 on the NTV Evening Newshour.