Canadiens moving AHL affiliate to Laval in 17-18

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League’s Board of Governors has unanimously approved the relocation of the franchise owned by the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens from St. John’s, N.L., to Laval, Que., beginning with the 2017-18 season.

The Canadiens’ AHL franchise will begin play in the fall of 2017 at Place Bell, a multi-purpose facility under construction in the Montreal suburb of Laval.

In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.