Laval, Quebec will be the new home of the Montreal Canadiens’ AHL affiliate starting in 2017-18, according to the team.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 11, 2016
The club will play in Place Bell in Laval. The arena is currently under construction, but it will feature two smaller ice rinks alongside the regulation size rink and will seat 10,000 people.
“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 general manager, Marc Bergevin. “Until the team relocates to Laval, the coaching staff under head coach Sylvain Lefebvre will continue their work of developing our young players and getting them prepared for the next level. I take this opportunity to thank all IceCaps fans for their loyal support, and I am convinced that Laval hockey fans will stand behind their new team.”
St. John’s, Newfoundland was the home of the Canadiens’ AHL team this past season and will be once again in 2016-17. The Canadiens had their AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Ontario from 2002-03 through the 2014-15 season.
The move will undoubtedly benefit the Canadiens, as they will have their AHL affiliate within the same province. It will allow the organization to make roster moves more easily as the travel will be far less of an issue on call-ups.