The nickname for the new ECHL team in St. John’s has not yet been chosen, but it appears Shamrocks — a moniker that’s already gained some traction on social media — is one that’s being considered.
The Idea Factory, the St. John's marketing firm that issued a press release on behalf of the new team's owners Tuesday morning, has registered stjohnsshamrocks.com as a domain name, although that doesn’t mean it is the definite choice.
Far from it.
Word is that the ownership group of the newly-launched team is considering about a half dozen different nicknames.
The St. John’s Storm and St. John’s Regiment look to be two other choices. Domain names based on those were also registered by the Idea Factory on Tuesday.
Interestingly, there has already been a professional hockey team called the St. John’s Shamrocks, but it was a fictional entry in the Eastern Maritime Hockey League in the movie “Goon.” How any trademarks associated with the film might affect consideration of Shamrocks as a name for the ECHL expansion team would have to be investigated.
There also might be some concern about how St. John’s Shamrocks might affect perception of the ECHL, which will introduce a new level of pro hockey to St. John’s.
“Goon” focused mainly on hockey pugilism, and although the rate of fights in the ECHL is slightly higher than the American Hockey League which operated in St. John’s for two decades, this is not John Brophy’s East Coast Hockey League (the league changed its name to the acronym in 2003).
There have also been Shamrocks teams which have operated locally, including a long-established St. John’s baseball association and Mike’s Shamrocks, the Mike Squires-operated club which played in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League and won a Herder Memorial Trophy and provincial championship in 1977.
Given that the St. John’s ECHL team will be affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs, there are those who expect the team will go by St. John’s Maple Leafs as did Toronto’s AHL team which operated here from 1991 to 2005. And there has been some suggestion the new club could retain the IceCaps nickname used by AHL teams here from 2011 to 2017.
Danny Williams, who operated the IceCaps organization, owns the rights to the name although if the new team wanted to acquire it, there would seem to little trouble in doing so. Dean MacDonald, who owns the new ECHL franchise, is a former business associate of Williams, while Glenn Stanford, who will run the hockey club, was the IceCaps’ chief operating officer.
However, with the registration of numerous other names for the ECHL team, it seems MacDonald and Stanford could be leaning towards something different than the former AHL tags.
Fog Devils, the name of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team which played in St. John’s between the AHL Leafs and IceCaps, is not up for consideration.