The announcement that St. John’s fans feared but knew was inevitable, came this past Monday (July 11).
Montreal are upping sticks from St. John’s and moving their AHL affiliate closer to home – in fact very close to home, with just twenty kilometres or so separating the NHL and AHL rinks.
It’s the third change in a very short period of time for Montreal, having departed Hamilton for St. John’s and now to Laval.
The move will officially take place in the fall of 2017, leaving those in Newfoundland some time to plan and move forward.
IceCaps Owner, Danny Williams, is said to be looking for another AHL team but previously mentioned applying for a junior team when Winnipeg moved their affiliate back to Manitoba.
The Ottawa Senators would be ill-advised to make the move out East with the complications that can bring and Binghamton is hardly a disaster zone that requires immediate action. It’s far more likely that Ottawa, as per rumours, look to move their affiliation to Belleville – a far better location than St. John’s for them to operate from.
An NHL team in Quebec would solve St. John’s problems for them, but whether that comes to fruition is very much up for debate at this juncture.
The team in Laval is currently without a name and that will be ultimately be decided by fans submitting suggestions and then voting on a selection of those.
With ticket’s likely to be far more affordable than those at the Bell Centre, Montreal will be hoping to draw families and those from all walks of life to sell-out the 10,000 set new arena called Place Bell.