The American Hockey League, which was already set to look very different in 2015-16, announced two more relocations on Thursday.
The Winnipeg Jets affiliated St. John’s IceCaps will move back to Winnipeg after spending four campaigns outside of Manitoba. Based on a recent report from the Winnipeg Free Press, it sounds like the AHL squad will share the MTS Centre with the Jets. This is expected to be a temporary arrangement until the Jets can find a new location for their AHL affiliate that’s closer to home than St. John’s.
Replacing the IceCaps in St. John’s will be Hamilton Bulldogs, which are affiliated with the Canadiens. Montreal bought the franchise from AHL owner Michael Andlauer and the relocated squad will inherit the IceCaps name.
“We are delighted in making St. John’s our new home and look forward to playing in front of fans who have long been Canadiens supporters and who will now have an opportunity to watch our finest prospects as they hone their skills with our AHL affiliate team,” the Canadiens said in their release.
Just as there will be a new IceCaps, there will also be a new Hamilton Bulldogs, but it won’t be an American Hockey League squad. The Ontario Hockey League has announced that the Belleville Bulls has been bought by Andlauer and will become the new Hamilton Bulldogs.
All of these moves will be in effect for the 2015-16 campaign.