Earlier this summer it was announced that Montreal would be moving their AHL affiliate from St. John’s to Laval after the upcoming year, to bring the team closer to home. Today, it was announced that the team will be nicknamed the Rocket (Rocket de Laval in the native French), according to Dave Stubbs of NHL.com.
Starting in 2017, the team will play its games at the new 10,000-seat Bell Place, an arena just 25 minutes from downtown Montreal. By bringing the team to Quebec, they’ll be able to keep a closer eye on their prospects while also providing less expensive professional hockey to the residents of Montreal.
The team is currently the St. John’s Icecaps, which will the third franchise to leave the eastern Canadian city over the past ten years. They’ll look for another franchise to try and entice east, and would be a strong candidate should Quebec City ever regain their team.