The Memorial Cup is coming to the Maritimes.
The Canadian Hockey League announced on Wednesday morning that the Saint Johns Sea Dogs have been named host of the 2022 Memorial Cup, marking the first time in the franchise's history that they will assume host duties.
The announcement also signals the official return of the Memorial Cup as an event after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, with both the 2020 and 2021 installments ultimately being canceled as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
While this marks the franchise's first time as host, the Sea Dogs are no strangers to the Memorial Cup festivities, participating three times since their founding in 2005; 2011, 2012, and 2017.
They would ultimately walk away in 2011 as champions.
The Sea Dogs are hoping to preface their Memorial Cup bid with a bounce-back campaign after a lackluster 2021 season that saw them finish fourth-last in the QMJHL standings with a 15-14-3 record. Aiding their redemption case is a lineup featuring five drafted NHL prospects, including their 2021 leading scorer Ryan Francis of the Calgary Flames and defenceman William Villeneuve of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
All games of the 2022 Memorial Cup will be broadcast on TSN and RDS, marking the first season of the network's newly-signed broadcasting rights deal with the CHL.
After two years without junior hockey's marquee event, excitement is as high as ever.