As the name suggests, the American Hockey League didn’t include any Canadian-based teams when it was formed in 1936 as a minor pro league for the NHL, though the rosters were stocked with Canadian players. It wasn’t until 1959, when the Quebec Aces joined the league, that a Canadian team participated in the AHL. Eventually, the league took on a much more Canadian flavour with teams over the years in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and, of course, Quebec.
At the start of the new millennium, the league had several Canadian franchises. The Maple Leafs farm club was in St. John’s, Newfoundland; the Edmonton Oilers had one in Hamilton, Ontario; the Montreal Canadiens affiliate was in Quebec City; and the Calgary Flames farm team was based out of Saint John, New Brunswick. The AHL serves as the premier developmental source for the NHL, graduating nearly seventy percent of the current NHLers. The AHL has developed over 100 Hockey Hall of Famers in its history as well.