The ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers, 2019 expansion team/Kelly Cup Champions and affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, announced this morning that they would wear uniforms throwing back to their hometown’s long association with their NHL parent.
Going all the way back to the early 1990s, the Growlers will wear uniforms based off of the old St. John’s Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League. The uniform was a carbon copy of what the NHL’s Maple Leafs wore on the road at the time, a blue jersey with white sleeves, a single white stripe around the waist, and a blue maple leaf logo on each shoulder, the only difference coming via the text across the logo which read “ST. JOHN’S MAPLE LEAFS” rather than Toronto.
This version of the uniform does have some differences versus what the St. John’s club wore in 1991. The addition of the manufacturer’s AthleticKnit logo below the collar is new, as is the font that was chosen for the player’s number — originally a standard block number. A commemorative patch was also worn for the second half of that season by St. John’s on the top-right corner of their jersey, a logo in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Professional Hockey Player’s Association.
The St. John’s Maple Leafs began play for the 1991-92 AHL season, relocating to Newfoundland following brief stints in St. Catharines and Newmarket, Ontario where they played as the Saints. After 14 seasons, the Leafs moved their top-level affiliate to Toronto in 2004 where they continue today as the Toronto Marlies. In 2018, the Maple Leafs announced an ECHL affiliation with a new St. John’s-based franchise, the Newfoundland Growlers.
Newfoundland is set to wear the throwback threads for their game on Saturday, December 7th against the Worcester Railers.