With the relocation of the Saints, Spruce Grove is now the home to Canada’s most storied Junior “A” franchise. Over 50 Saints including the likes of Mark Messier, Rob Brown, Brian Benning, Stu Barnes, Mike Comrie, Steve Reinprecht and Fernando Pisani have played for the Saints on their way to the NHL. Comrie, the unparalleled 100’s of Saints Alumni that advance to Canadian College, University, and NCAA is a testament to the quality and reputation of this renowned franchise.
The Saints are the only remaining franchise to survive from the original inception of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in 1963. In 1972 the Edmonton Movers and Edmonton Maple Leafs combined to become the Edmonton Mets who, in turn became Spruce Grove Mets in 1974.
Under the direction of Doug Messier the 1974 -75 Spruce Grove Mets won the Centennial Cup Championship the symbol of supremacy for Junior “A” hockey in Canada. Spruce Grove again won the AJHL Championship in 1975-76 by Messier defeating the Red Deer Rustlers, who was captained by Daryl Sutter, and won the Abbott Cup, which is the Western Canadian Championship. The 1976-77 Mets lost in the AJHL final but Spruce Grove had the opportunity to watch a brash run rookie and future Hall of Famer Mark Messier play.
With four AJHL Championships as the St. Albert Saints (80-81, 81-82, 95-96, 97-98) the Saints have now returned to Spruce Grove and have captured 3 more AJHL Championships in 2010, 2011 & 2014. The Saints are looking for their fourth AJHL championship in 2015 under the tenure of Head Coach and General Manager Jason McKee and his coaching staff.
What This Means to Our Tri-Municipal Community:
The relocation of the Saints to Spruce Grove has already created a tremendous amount of excitement, and this will no doubt grow as the franchise and our communities develop together. The Saints provide local hockey fans a highly skilled, action packed brand of hockey, with great value for your ticket price.
Finally, players from the Stony Plain and Spruce Grove Minor Hockey Programs can aspire to play Junior A hockey for their hometown with the support of friends, family, and local businesses. As a result, this will generate excitement, drive community spirit, and create pride for all our stakeholders.
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