The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club announced today they have extended their American Hockey League affiliation with the St. John’s IceCaps for one year through the 2015-16 hockey season.
The IceCaps are entering their fourth season this year as Winnipeg’s primary affiliate, having entered into an affiliation when the Jets rejoined the National Hockey League in 2011-12. That season also marked the return of the AHL to St. John’s for the first time since 2005.
“This is a proud day for the St. John’s IceCaps and I believe it epitomizes the never-say-die attitude our organization has exuded since day one,” said IceCaps President and CEO Danny Williams. “This extension will mean two more years guaranteed AHL action in St. John’s. I would like to thank Mark Chipman, Craig Heisinger and the Winnipeg Jets organization for extending our relationship which has proven to be one of the most successful in the league. Thanks to our loyal fans and incredible corporate support we look forward this season to breaking the AHL record for consecutive sold out games.”
“We are pleased to have agreed to an extension with Danny & the IceCaps organization that will see our top prospects develop their game there through 2016,” said Kevin Cheveldayoff, Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets. “We have always maintained that St. John’s was an excellent hockey market which provided our players the opportunity to learn the game in an intense atmosphere backed by the support of some of the most fervent fans in the country. While the costs and difficulties associated with travel and location remain a concern, we will continue to work to find a solution that benefits both organizations in the long term.”
Since the St. John’s franchise moved from Manitoba in 2011 where they were formerly known as the Manitoba Moose, the IceCaps have become one of the AHL’s most successful organizations. Led by Head Coach Keith McCambridge and Assistant Coach Mark Morrison, the IceCaps advanced to the Calder Cup Semi-Final in 2012 and then last season made it all the way to the Calder Cup Final. In three seasons, they have an overall regular season record of 121-84-10-13. The IceCaps have helped develop 22 players who have appeared in games with the Winnipeg Jets such as John Albert, Ben Chiarot, Patrice Cormier, Michael Hutchinson, Carl Klingberg, Eric O’Dell, and Paul Postma. First-year pros, like Brenden Kichton, J.C. Lipon, Adam Lowry, and Josh Morrissey got their initial taste of pro hockey with the IceCaps and now hold bright futures as potential Winnipeg Jets. Off the ice, under the guidance of Williams and Governor & COO Glenn Stanford, the Ice Caps have sold out all 114 home games since they arrived back in St. John’s, as well as donated more than $1.5 million in cash and in kind to local charities in the St. John’s area.