Tag: AHL affiliation

St. John's IceCaps

Winnipeg’s AHL team called St. John’s IceCaps; Good nickname or silly nonsense?


Now that the Winnipeg Jets have a name and a logo, their AHL farm team in St. John’s, Newfoundland was in need of the same treatment themselves. Today, they unleashed the team’s new look and name upon the minor league hockey world. The former Manitoba Moose will be called the St. John’s IceCaps.

No, that’s not a typo and yes, your grammar alarm is going off big time. Then again, the AHL is a league that has two teams nicknamed “Admirals” so let’s just have some fun with this. Yes, you’d better believe that both the Milwaukee and Norfolk Admirals had better be instant rivals with the IceCaps. Titanic Night at the arena should be a lot of fun, especially for the fan that ends up being the “king of the world.”

Team President and CEO Danny Williams gives his thoughts on the name and look.

“I am so pleased to present the St. John’s IceCaps and our new logo to fans, as we begin a new era of professional hockey in the province,” said Mr. Williams.  “The IceCaps is a name that I am confident hockey fans will support as it captures both our rich hockey history with a reference to the Caps, while at the same time capturing a natural element that is iconic for the province, ice. We wanted to ensure that, although the team is based in our capital city, the province as a whole can identify with it and embrace it as their own.”

Never mind that whole thing with there being an NHL team referred to as the “Caps” already, their reasons behind the name make sense. It’s all about identity for the area and their home city and its importance to them. That’s great and wonderful and good for the folks in St. John’s to once again have AHL hockey.

That said, reading the marketing buzz words behind the reasons for the team name and the team logo make for a hilarious read.  Here’s a sample. First, the reason for the name IceCaps.

The team name, IceCaps, is a clever combination of the history we are so proud of and the climate and landscape for which we are so well known.

The name is nostalgic of the St. John’s Caps, the local NAHA senior hockey team, circa 1960. The Caps, of course, is short for Capitals, St. John’s being the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador.

That’s a creative use of the word “clever” at the very least. As for the team’s logo, there’s a lot to be said for getting inventive and silly all at once.

The logo features a jagged mountain or rock with the geographic shape of Newfoundland and Labrador on its surface like snow or ice. This province is beloved for its rugged landscape, geology, and snow-capped mountains in our northern regions.

All right, that’s a pretty neat touch. It also teaches some of us silly Americans a bit about Canadian geography. We could all use some brushing up on that, especially when it comes to extreme eastern Canada. With that said, these next two pieces are just crazy.

The colours in the logo represent the coldness of ice, as well as our ocean culture. In fact, when you look at the word IceCaps, you can see the line where the ocean meets the sky. The colours also stay true to those of our parent NHL team, the Winnipeg Jets.

The mountain graphic and the IceCaps font are purposely jagged and edgy: rugged like our land, strong like our people, and fierce like our hunger for hockey.

Mind. Blown.

We think it looks nice, but the name itself is rather silly. What do you make of it though? Let us know in the poll and in the comments.

Awkward partnership: Vancouver Canucks now call Chicago home for their AHL team

Chicago Wolves

The Vancouver Canucks have had some legendary problems dealing with the Chicago Blackhawks over the past few seasons. While they were able to sneak past the Blackhawks in seven games in the first round of the playoffs this year, they’ve had nothing but a recent history of nightmares dealing with Chicago. That’s why today’s announcement that the Canucks will be using the Chicago Wolves of the AHL as their minor league farm team for at least the next two seasons is a true test of how awkward things can get.

The Canucks were calling the Manitoba Moose their affiliate for years until the Moose were moved to St. John’s and became the affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets. Without a home to send their prospects, Vancouver was on the prowl and oddly enough with the Thrashers moving to Winnipeg, their affiliation with Chicago in the AHL was over with. Enter the Canucks and enter a mind-boggling scenario.

With how the Blackhawks and Canucks have gotten along in recent years, a healthy dislike has developed in Chicago for the Canucks. With their prospects and other organizational players now calling their city home, going to Wolves games might get a lot more interesting.

Fortunately for the Canucks, Wolves fans and Blackhawks fans are a bit of a different breed. Since the Wolves never had ties to the Blackhawks and actively marketed to hockey fans while Bill Wirtz owned the Blackhawks and kept them shrouded under media blackouts locally, Wolves fans do things on their own accord. Of course, Blackhawks fans will now want to go see the local AHL team now to see what their rivals have coming up through the system and get them warmed up on the heckling. Here’s to hoping that Roberto Luongo never gets sent down to the minor leagues even for a rehab assignment, things could get really ugly.

On the positive side of things for Vancouver, perhaps now Canucks players will be able to feel more at home when playing in Chicago and not get jittery and nervous at United Center. Of course, the awkwardness works both ways in this deal as Vancouver fans will now be actively rooting for a team from Chicago to do well. It won’t be the Blackhawks, of course, but it’s a bit of fun to see them squirm a bit nonetheless.

Report: Terry Pegula going fully old school, ready to buy Rochester Americans

Terry Pegula
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It’s hard to argue with how great Terry Pegula has been for the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Sabres. Pegula buying the team and bringing back all the old school nostalgia from the eras of Sabres hockey that fans of all ages can identify with coupled with his emotional outpouring over Gilbert Perreault and just his love for the team are incredible to see in this day and age.

Pegula’s appreciation for the Sabres past doesn’t just apply to the NHL workings of things but if reports are right it also applies to where the future Sabres come from as well.

A report from Buffalo’s WIVB-TV 4 says that Pegula is working on a deal to purchase the AHL’s Rochester Americans.

The Buffalo Sabres have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to purchase the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League in Terry Pegula’s latest bid to expand his hockey empire.

From the 1979-1980 season until the 2007-2008 season the Americans were the primary affiliate of the Sabres. In 2008, however, things broke down between the Sabres and Americans management and the Florida Panthers took over as the affiliate for the Americans. With the regional ties to the Sabres gone, the quality of play and attendance both dropped off dramatically.

The drop off in everything even inspired the Americans to make a video talking about the good old days and how they’d like to see things go back to that. It might as well have been a love letter to Terry Pegula begging him to buy the team.

With Pegula’s interest in buying the Americans it would almost certainly mean they would go back to being the Sabres affiliate. This was all made possible because the Panthers severed ties with Rochester after this season. The Sabres are currently affiliated with the Portland Pirates in Maine.

It makes sense to go back to a formula that worked so well in the past and helped grow a fan base that stretches across western and central New York and with what Terry Pegula is doing to reunite the past with the present, it will only go to benefit fans in that area who wish to get fully absorbed into the Sabres organization. It hasn’t been so long since the two were united, but it’s safe to say that the Sabres resonated with fans in Rochester a lot better than they did with the Panthers.