Trois-Rivières Lions to Be Sold, Newfoundland Growlers to Fold

The fate of two stuggling ECHL teams has been decided. One fate with the chance to live on. Another whose fate was sealed.

The ECHL has terminated the membership of the Newfoundland Growlers, the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, effective immediately. After almost four seasons, the Growlers cease operations due to what the ECHL said was “for failure to fulfill its obligations under the ECHL Bylaws.”

All games left on the scheduled have been canceled. Those who were scheduled to play the Growlers will not have new games on the schedule to replace these canceled games. Playoff seeding for the ECHL’s North Division, which the Growlers played in, will now have playoff teams decided based on points percentage instead of total points. This method will also determine home ice advantage should a North Division team reach the Eastern Conference Final or Kelly Cup Final.

The ECHL and Professional Hockey Players’ Association agreed that any ECHL contracted players from Newfoundland will immediately become free agents.

According to Deacon Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Growlers, the ceasing of operations comes after a failure to sell the team before the required April 2 deadline.

Meanwhile, the Trois-Rivières Lions, the ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, will be sold and operations will continue. The sale is pending ECHL approval, and no specific name of a buyer was included in the statement.

“The decision to sell the Trois-Rivières Lions comes after careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure the continued success and growth of the franchise,” Deacon Sports and Entertainment said in their released statement.”

The Lions have four remaining regular-season games on their schedule.