The Montreal Canadiens officially announced that its AHL affiliate that will begin play at Laval’s Place Bell in 2017-18 will be called Club de hockey Rocket de Laval.
The name is the result of a fan contest held between July 11 and August 31, 2016. During phase I of the contest, from July 11 to 21, fans were invited to submit their selections. Then, during the second phase, between July 26 and August 8, the general public was asked to vote for one name from a group of 12 finalists from phase I. The third and final phase consisted of picking a winner among the top three names submitted. With over 54,000 entries received, the two runner-ups were Patriotes with 24% of votes, and the Rapides with 25% of votes, while the winning entry, ROCKET was the popular choice with 51% of the vote.
“We would like to thank all our fans for getting involved in the process of selecting a name for the new Canadiens AHL affiliate. The level of participation exceeded our most optimistic expectations. With this contest, we wanted to give our fans an opportunity to get involved in choosing a nickname for their team. If this craze is any indication for what lies ahead for the team in Laval we can certainly expect with a future filled with enthusiasm,” said Vincent Lucier, president of the amphitheater.
“From the opening day of the contest it was clear that the ROCKET entry would be a heavy favourite among some 850 different names submitted. At the completion of phase I it was the most popular choice. In fact throughout phases II and III, it earned more votes than all other names combined. The message was loud and clear from fans looking for a meaningful identity for their team while paying tribute to Maurice “Rocket” Richard as one of the Canadiens’ most legendary figures,” added Lucier.
The team has now begun the creative process of designing a brand identity for the Rocket de Laval, creating a logo and color scheme, which will be unveiled in the coming months.