The Manitoba Moose unveiled Stan Smyl as their new head coach Tuesday, a day after joining the American Hockey League from the defunct International Hockey League.
The Moose also made official that their NHL affiliation would be the Vancouver Canucks.
“When looking at affiliation, it was important for us to be associated with a Canadian-based franchise and the Canucks are a quality, first-class organization,” said Moose owner Mark Chipman.
The teams agreed to a five-year partnership deal.
Randy Carlyle stays on as general manager for the Moose, who were among six former IHL teams to move to the AHL.
Smyl, has been with the Canucks organization since he was drafted as a player in 1978. He led the Kansas City Blades to a 37-42-3 record in the IHL last season.
“While our organization’s number one goal is to develop the future stars of the Vancouver Canucks, it is equally important to put a competitive team on the ice that Manitobans can be proud of,” said Smyl. “I look forward to working with Randy and taking a run at a Calder Cup championship.”
The Moose also re-styled their team jerseys. The new look features a Canucks shoulder patch with the colour scheme switching from purple, green and black, to a forest green, bronze and black.
“With the new affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks, and our entry into a new league, we thought it would be fitting to give our hockey club a new and more modern look,” said Moose vice-president Tim Scott. “We feel these new uniforms combine many of hockey’s traditions with an exciting look that will kick-start a new era of Moose hockey.” Next season, the Moose will play an unbalanced schedule weighted heavily towards their five ex-IHL rivals and the other Canadian-based clubs in Hamilton, Quebec City, Que.; Saint John, New Brunswick and St. John’s, Newfoundland.
On December 5, 1945 the International Hockey League is born at the Norton Palmer Hotel in Windsor, Ontario. The league is formed by Jack Adams, general manager of the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings; Red Wings public relations director Fred Huber; Frank Gallagher and Gerald McHugh. McHugh is named the league’s first president.