A new pro hockey team for St. John's is the envy of the American Hockey League, even though it hasn't yet played a game and doesn't even have a name.
Club president Danny Williams said the team has already sold 4,700 season passes for Mile One Centre, far exceeding an initial goal of 3,000 passes.
"Our season ticket holders have been incredible," said the former Newfoundland and Labrador premier, who has led the drive to bring professional hockey back to St. John's.
"The take-up of seats by the residents of St. John's and indeed the residents of all the province [has] been exceptional."
The soon-to-be-former Manitoba Moose will be relocating from Winnipeg to Mile One, and will be the farm team of the relaunched Winnipeg Jets. A name has not yet been announced, although Ice Caps has been identified as the leading contender.
Chief operating officer Glenn Stanford said the sales blew away AHL governors at a meeting last week.
"You look around the 30 governors around the table, their eyes were just rolling because we said we were kind of poor mouthing ourselves, 'We're not there right now,' " Stanford told reporters.
"[With] 4,700 tickets [sold], I'll tell you right now [this] is the No. 1 team in the league."
On Thursday, Williams and Stanford introduced Keith McCambridge as the coach of the new team. McCambridge was previously an assistant coach with the Manitoba Moose.
"People use the words aggressive, physical, detailed, structured," McCambridge said. "These are words that are going to form the identity of this team."