BRAMPTON, Ont. – The Brampton Beast’s run is over. In a 41-word, two-sentence blurb near the end of a league release Thursday, the ECHL announced the team, which joined as part of the Central Hockey League/ECHL consolidation in October 2014, was done.
The story of the Beast goes back farther than that, though. Joining the Central Hockey League ranks in 2013 with head coach Mark DeSantis, the Beast recruited a Canadian-only roster in the hopes of appealing to the Toronto-only market. The venture worked, and the Beast made the playoffs in their first season, losing to Allen in six games. The next couple of years were challenging ones for Brampton, a shift in leagues and the move to affiliated hockey, plus below .500 records were all complicit in the team struggling to bring fans into the CAA Centre.
Head coach Colin Chaulk led the Beast to their deepest playoff run in the CHL or ECHL in 2017, a loss in the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. That season was the best in Beast history, with the team piling up high-water marks in points (88), and wins (40). Chaulk would engineer one more playoff run with the Beast, a first-round playoff defeat in 2019. Chaulk would depart after the season, and former Stingrays head coach Spiros Anastas would take over.
Prior to the COVID shutdown last year, the Beast was in a position to make another playoff berth and were finally generating momentum on both sides of the organization. Unfortunately, Brampton was one of the 12 teams that opted-out of the 2020-21 season. During the season, the Beast were active in the community, attending virtual events and trying to get the team’s name out into the public.
“Three seasons of Covid was just too much for our modest hockey team to sustain,” said Cary Kaplan, President and General Manager. “From the bottom of our hearts, we want to offer an enormous thank you to the City of Brampton, Mayor Patrick Brown, and Brampton City Council for supporting us with open arms, to the hundreds of thousands of fans and sponsors who we truly worked for and tried our best to exceed your expectations, to all the amazing players, staff and coaches who gave their blood, sweat, and tears for the Beast, to our three owners who invested in our vision, we are very proud of the lasting memories that we provided.”