AHL returning to St. John’s

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has unanimously approved the relocation of the AHL franchise owned by True North Sports & Entertainment Ltd. from Winnipeg to St. John’s, N.L., to begin play there with the 2011-12 season.

The St. John’s club will be the top development affiliate of the National Hockey League’s new Winnipeg entry, which has been purchased by True North pending NHL approval.

“The American Hockey League is excited to be returning to St. John’s,” said Andrews. “The people of Newfoundland and Labrador showed tremendous support for our league in the past, and we’re confident that passion will return to Mile One Centre this fall.”

The city of St. John’s hosted AHL hockey for 14 seasons from 1991-2005 as home of the St. John’s Maple Leafs.

Having just completed its historic 75th anniversary season, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of all players competing in the NHL are AHL graduates, and through the years the American Hockey League has been home to more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.