Thursday, January 24, 2008

Junior hockey to leave The Rock

The St. John's Fog Devils hockey team has been sold to a new Quebec-based owner, leaving a city-owned stadium without an anchor tenant.

The Fog Devils, who play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, were founded in 2005 after the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled their farm team from St. John's that year.
It's a sad thing anytime a community loses its team, but it seems to be having with some regularity in junior hockey these days.

St. John's is actually a relatively large community, especially compared to other junior hockey towns like Swift Current, but more and more, it's becoming a question of economics in the CHL.



At 7:35 p.m., January 24, 2008, Anonymous Keith said...

The Fog Devils are currently 7th in the Q in attendance. I know the travel costs are horrendous, but still, it is a shame the city and the team could not find a way to make it work.

Can we blame MLSE for this too? ;)

At 7:37 p.m., January 24, 2008, Blogger Pete said...

Yes, because if MLSE hadn't pulled the Baby Leafs out of SJ and into the Ricoh Coliseum for tax purposes (the Marlies are drawing less people than the Leafs did on the Rock) than the Fog Devils would never have come to St. John's and thus, would not have broken the city's heart. Again.

At 8:44 p.m., January 24, 2008, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

If I had the money, I'd buy an ECHL team for St. John's and name them Eyes da Byes da Builds da Boats*

*or the Rough Riders

At 2:45 a.m., January 25, 2008, Blogger garnet said...

The Oilers ought to get their AHL farm team in there ASAP. The team's drawing flies in Springfield.

At 11:42 a.m., January 25, 2008, Blogger The Gate To The Groin For Yannick Bertrand said...

I remember the very first Fog Devils game in St John's, it was sold out weeks ahead of time, I had to wait outside with a sign to find people with extras. People do love their hockey in Newfoundland, but they never seemed committed to the junior team. The team itself played some pretty competitive hockey, especially their first season when they unexpectedly squeezed into the playoffs - that was the height of Fog Devil-mania. But it seemed to vanish the next year. I blame poor executive decisions and inexperienced marketing, but most of all, a city that owns it's stadium and is unable to ask for a reasonable amount for it's use. I wonder if this is the end for hockey in Newfoundland? Where could they possibly go from here?



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