Starting with the 2015-16 campaign, we could see the AHL Manitoba Moose reborn after spending the last four seasons as the St. John’s IceCaps, according to a report from the Winnipeg Free Press. The Jets signed an extension with the IceCaps’ operating group through the 2015-16 campaign, but it is believed that they partially did that to provide the St. John’s group with more time to find a replacement franchise.
They may have done just that as the Canadiens have reportedly agreed to move their AHL franchise from Hamilton, Ontario to St. John’s. The current IceCaps would head back to Winnipeg to share the MTS Centre with the Jets. It’s believed that would just be a temporary arrangement until Winnipeg can find a different location for the IceCaps/Moose team that’s closer to home than St. John’s was.
The Manitoba Moose operated in the AHL from 2001 to 2011, but moved after True North purchased the Atlanta Thrashers and relocated them to Winnipeg.
The AHL’s board of governors has a meeting next week and it could approve these changes at that time. However, it’s worth emphasizing that none of this is confirmed yet as a statement from the Hamilton Bulldogs noted:
We are aware of the reports but at this point nothing is official. We don’t want to add to the speculation with unconfirmed and inaccurate information. What we can tell you is that Michael Andlauer has been committed to our community, the fans and hockey in the city of Hamilton for over a decade and that will not change moving forward. We have no further comment at this time.