The recent announcement that Laval will be the new home of the Canadiens farm team formerly known as the St. John’s IceCaps has officials at city hall applauding the move.

The team will hit the ice at the brand-new, 10,000 seat Place Bell for the 2017-2018 season. Laval is one of only three Canadian cities currently hosting an AHL team.

“The club will consolidate Laval’s identity, reinforce our sense of belonging, and stimulate pride in the local community,” said Mayor Marc Demers. “This new identity will contribute to forging the culture of our city and will bring people together.

“Our team will become a major source of pride and we will follow their exploits with passion,” he added.

The mayor also hopes that the hard work and dedication of the young players will rub off on Laval’s youth.

Aside from the community benefits, the move will spark significant economic returns for the growing city. As a major corporation, the Canadiens’ farm team has a number of well-paid execs and will inject large sums into the community.

“The company is moving from Newfoundland to Quebec,” explained Demers. “This is great economic news.”

The team’s arrival coincides with the opening of Place Bell and several other sports-related facilities, like the aquatic centre. Nearby, several post-secondary institutions, Salle André-Mathieu, the Maison des arts, the metro station, major housing projects, Place Montmorency, hotels and offices will make the neighbourhood a thriving commercial sector, according to officials at city hall.

Laval and Montreal residents are invited to submit name ideas for the new team. To submit, visit WWW.placebell.ca; voting starts July 26. The winner will receive season tickets.

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