Maple Leafs appoint Cincinnati Cyclones as newest ECHL affiliate

Photo credit:Albert Cesare/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK
Arun Srinivasan
18 days ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs have listed the Cincinnati Cyclones as their latest ECHL affiliate ahead of the 2024-25 season, general manager Brad Treliving announced Wednesday.
“We are excited to embark on this new partnership with the Cincinnati Cyclones. This is a significant investment for our hockey club as we look to provide our players with the best resources available to support their growth and professional development,” Treliving said in a team-issued statement.
“We are thrilled to be associated with an organization with such a storied history as the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Cyclones general manager Kristin Ropp said in the statement. “To partner with an organization that places value in the development of players from the ECHL through the AHL and into the NHL is truly exciting.”
The Newfoundland Growlers previously operated as the Maple Leafs’ ECHL affiliate, serving the organization from 2018-2024, but their operations closed at the end of the year. Cincinnati posted a 31-34-7 record last season, missing the playoffs.
Cyclones head coach Jason Payne is one of the premier development coaches in the world of hockey and this partnership could potentially see him rise through the ranks of the coaching world, and eventually, a larger role within the Maple Leafs’ organization. Payne has been with the Cyclones for three years and the Toronto native is certainly another strong voice to be counted upon.
Another notable Cyclones players include Justin Vaive, the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Rick Vaive. The younger Vaive was a minor hockey teammate of John Tavares and played against new acquisition Chris Tanev in the Greater Toronto Hockey League as teenagers.
Cincinnati has a history of fun antics too, retiring Pete Rose’s number even though the former Reds superstar was officially banned from baseball. We’re not sure how this light-hearted antagonism will mesh with the more formal Maple Leafs, but they’ll be welcomed into the family regardless.

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