The Montreal Canadiens are moving their farm team close to home. It was announced this morning that the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps will relocate to Laval, Quebec, for the 2017-18 season.
Laval is a suburb of Montreal. The team will play in a new arena called Place Bell.
“The relocation of our AHL affiliate in Laval will be beneficial in several ways, allowing for hockey management to follow the organization’s young prospects and provide players and coaching staff with a great environment, a state-of-the-art hockey venue and a new and enthusiastic fan base,” said Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin in a release.
The Habs moved their AHL operation to St. John’s last year. They did so after the Winnipeg Jets ended their affiliation with the Newfoundland city in order to relocate their farm team home to Manitoba.
There has been an AHL team in St. John’s since 2011. The city was also home to the Maple Leafs’ affiliate from 1991-2005. It had a QMJHL franchise from 2005-2008.
“I can assure season ticket-holders, corporate partners and hockey fans throughout Newfoundland and Labrador we were fully aware and prepared for today’s announcement by the Canadiens and we have been actively seeking a new AHL partner and exploring options with other leagues for some time now,” said IceCaps president Danny Williams.