Minor League Hockey
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Manitoba AHL franchise heading to St. John's

Springfield, MA (Sports Network) - The American Hockey League has approved the relocation of the Manitoba franchise from Winnipeg to St. John's.

True North Sports, which recently purchased the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers with the intent to move the franchise to Winnipeg, also owns the AHL's Manitoba Moose club. NHL approval is still needed for the Atlanta deal to become official.

The old Manitoba team will play the 2011-12 season in St. John's and will become the AHL affiliate of the new NHL Winnipeg franchise.

St. John's was previously home of the Toronto Maple Leafs' AHL affiliate from 1991-2005.

"The American Hockey League is excited to be returning to St. John's," said AHL president and CEO David Andrews in a statement. "The people of Newfoundland and Labrador showed tremendous support for our league in the past, and we're confident that passion will return to Mile One Centre this fall."

In addition, the new St. John's team will have Newfoundland native Glenn Stanford in a front office role. Stanford stepped down Friday as the president and governor of the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs to accept a position with the St. John's club.

06/10 10:36:57 ET