Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Return to the Realm

The Toronto Maple Leafs thumbed through the book of great Toronto sports team names on Tuesday and brought back the Regal look of the Marlboros to hockey in the big smoke.

With their AHL team set to leave Newfoundland and relocate to the exhibition grounds of the Ricoh Centre the Leafs felt it was time to rebrand the franchise. So it's good bye Baby Buds and hello Marlies. A name that takes many Torontonians back to the 80's and the Junior franchise of the day that sent many a young prospect on to NHL glory.

The Marlies played at Maple Leaf Gardens and for many folks in Toronto it was probably the only chance they would get to see a hockey game in the building that Conn Smythe built during the depression. The Marlies who had a 78 year history in junior hockey, would eventually fade from the Maple Leaf Gardens scene as Junior hockey left the big cities for smaller centers across Canada.

The Marlie name won seven Ontario championships and six Memorial Cups in its history, the Leafs are no doubt hoping that by the end of next year, they are adding a Calder Cup title to the storied history of the Marlie name!

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