Logo of the Trois-Rivières Lions
Photo credit: ECHL

2 ECHL Teams in Danger of Shutting Down before Season Ends

Published March 27, 2024 at 8:53

Two teams playing in the ECHL may be shut down before the current season ends as the league's Board of Governors will meet April 2 to decide what to do next.

The two teams, the Trois-Rivières Lions and the Newfoundland Growlers, are owned by the NL-based company Deacon Sports & Entertainment (DSE). DSE is reportedly in debt. It was ordered by the league to sell the two teams before April 2. That hasn't, and reportedly won't happen, and the company has not repaid it's debts.

"At this time, it will be the ECHL taking over the Trois-Rivières organization, as well as that of the Newfoundland Growlers, two teams which still belong to DSE for a few days. The governors of the league led by commissioner Ryan Crelin will then have to decide whether they agree to pay to allow the Trois-Rivières club (and the Newfoundland team) to complete its 2023-2024 calendar." -

The Trois-Rivières Lions serve as the ECHL affiliate for the NHL's Montreal Canadiens and the AHL's Laval Rocket. The Newfoundland Growlers are affiliated with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Marlies.

There's also concern over what happens to player salaries if the two teams are shut down for the remainder of the season. The average pay in the ECHL varies from 4000 to 7000 per month while the league is operating.

It will be a shame for the local fan bases if these two teams end up closing up shop entirely, or sold and relocated elsewhere. The Growlers have had success in the ECHL since the team's inception in 2018, winning the Kelly Cup in its very first season. The Growlers also won division titles in 2019 and 2022.

March 27   |   88 answers
2 ECHL Teams in Danger of Shutting Down before Season Ends

What do you think will be the fate of these two ECHL teams?

Shut down2528.4 %
Sold1011.4 %
Sold and relocated3944.3 %
Not sure1415.9 %
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