About the Hockey Team
The Toronto Marlies are a Canadian ice hockey team currently playing in the AHL. The team is the top affiliate of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and play their home games out of the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The Marlies history began back with the New Brunswick Hawks, a team founded in 1978. The team was jointly operated by the Maple Leafs and the Chicago Black Hawks as a farm team with the Black Hawks and Maple Leaf Gardens Limited owning half of the franchise each.
The team played until 1982 when they relocated to St. Catharines, Ontario as the St. Catharines Saints, this time as solely a Leafs affiliate. The Hawks chose to pull out to instead affiliate with the Springfield Indians.. The team moved once more to Newmarket, Ontario after four years where they played for five seasons. After this, they moved once more to St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador where they became the St. John’s Maple Leafs where they enjoyed a career as a hot team in the region.
However, due to rising travel costs, affiliate teams were being moved closer to their parent clubs to make transitional costs better. This led to the team being relocated to Toronto in time for the 2005-2006 season.
About Toronto Stadium
The Coca-Cola Coliseum is an arena at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is primarily used for agricultural displays, trade shows, and is the present home of the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The arena is designed with multiple uses in mind and has seating for 8,100 guests for hockey, 9,000 for centre stage concerts, and several other arrangements with their own seating capacity.
The original venue was built for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (the Royal) in 1921. At the time the arena was known simply as the CNE Coliseum or the Ricoh Coliseum, but is commonly known as the Coliseum today.
Plans for the colosseum began at the turn on January 1, 1920 when voters approved to construct a new arena for livestock. The city of Toronto government called for lenders in the fall of 1920 for the CA$1 million that was agreed upon, but couldn’t find anyone willing to lend them anything less than CA$1.9 million. So the planned venue had to be reworked for a smaller budget to get the cost below the mandated approved amount.
After this redesign, the venue-to-be found a lender who was willing to keep their costs below CA$1 million, which allowed the venue to be constructed and opened to the public on December 16, 1921.
Since the arena’s opening, it has been used by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair held in November every year except the years of World War II. And it’s also the home of the Toronto Marlies team of the AHL.
But beyond these uses, it’s also become home of the annual Royal Horse Show equestrian competition as well as multiple animal presentations each year. The venue has also been used by the CNE for exhibits and performances. This includes an event where it was used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride as well as for figure skating shows.
On top of this, the venue also sees use for trade shows including an annual boat show where the floor has an indoor pond built over it.
The Toronto Marlies is currently owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment with Ryan Hardy serving as the team’s General Manager. Head Coach Greg Moore leads the team which, at the time of writing, has an absent captain position. The team is also affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL as well as the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL.
Ever since the team’s formation, it’s accrued several strong seasons and the awards and titles to back it up. For instance, the team has had two Regular Season titles for the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons. THe team has also earned 6 North Division titles for the 2007-08, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16, and 2017-18 seasons. The team has also earned the Eastern Conference titles twice both in 2012 and 2018. And adding on to how strong 2018 was for the team, they won the Calder Cups that year as well.
The team also earned their first shutout game on DEcember 14, 2005 when they defeated the Grand Rapids Griffins 5-0. The team also scored their first hat trick on January 2, 2006 against the Cleveland Browns.
While the Marlies have had several seasons worth of exceptional moments and highlights, none were as shocking as Scott Sabourin’s debut.
Every up and coming athlete wants to be the key role on their team. While most professionals require several seasons to make that mark, Scott Sabourin was said to have only needed less than a minute of his debut. During the first 23 seconds of the game against the Laval Rocket, Sabourin had caught up to a loose puck and was on a breakaway against the Rocket netminder. But rather than score, like you might expect, he lays out the netminder with a heavy hit.
This led to a brawl that led to Sabourin receiving a game misconduct and an ejection from the ice.
On a more positive note, one of the highlights for longtime Marlies fans came when Rich Clune was named as the team’s captain Early on the player was known as an unmatched leader on the team. He had a positive energy that he carried on and off the ice and was an influence on team morale no matter what.
Some even said he was influential during the Marlies 2018 Calder Cup victory run. And during the championship celebration Rich’s speech fired up the crowd more than any other delivered that day.