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Trois-Rivières ECHL Franchise: What We Know

TROIS-RIVÈRES, QC – With news of a potential ECHL franchise set to play in Trois-Rivières, there have been many questions around the new club.

Trois-Rivières ECHL Franchise: What We Know

TROIS-RIVÈRES, QC – With news of a potential ECHL franchise set to play in Trois-Rivières, there have been many questions around the new club. While many questions seem unclear at the moment, here’s what we do know:

QUICK FACTS

  • They would become the fourth team in ECHL Canadian history
  • The team is projected to play in the North Division, joining Canadian rivals Newfoundland and Brampton
  • Trois-Rivières would become the become the 27th team in the ECHL

THE MONTREAL CONNECTION

It’s predicted that the team will play under the Montreal Canadiens farm system. The Canadiens have been without an ECHL affiliate since 2018 after dropping their affiliation with the Brampton Beast. While unconfirmed, the team is speculated to have the same colour scheme as the Canadiens/Laval Rocket.

The Canadiens will be temporarily without an ECHL affiliate until the 2021-22 season.

CUTTING DOWN ON AIR MILES

Trois-Rivières is a 90-minute drive to Laval. Having the team close to it’s affiliate, it gives the Canadiens organization the ability to call up and send down player with ease. The Sin Bin’s Laval Rocket correspondent Deanna McFeron explains:

“Having an ECHL club so close to the rest of the organization will streamline both player development and player management. The close proximity of Laval to Trois-Rivières also simplifies roster movement when injuries take their toll.”

HOME SWEET HOME

Where the club will play lies in District 55 — the Nouveau Colisée. The arena is a $60 million investment built by TEQ Group, who most recently revamped the Canadiens’ Bell Centre. The arena will have a capacity north of 4,000 seats.

Photo Credit: Trois-Rivières

Photo Credit: Trois-Rivières

Photo Credit: Trois-Rivières

Photo Credit: Trois-Rivières

The new rink replaces the Colisée de Trois-Rivières, which held tenants in the QMJHL, LANH and CIS. The previous arena sat 2,700 fans and was originally built in 1938.

The ECHL club will share the arena with the University of Quebec Trois-Rivières hockey team, who are currently playing in the previously mentioned rink.

OWNERSHIP

Deacon Investments LTD will take the reigns of the operation in Trois-Rivières. Deacon Investments are the same ownership group handling the Newfoundland Growlers and its arena, the Mile One Centre. Primary owners Glenn Stanford and Dean MacDonald are the body that makes up the group.

MacDonald and Stanford will handle the operations of the arena as well — eliminating a situation the Growlers encountered previously. Both will collectively handle events, promotions, concessions and any other day-to-day operations.

“We’re bringing some energy and help to [Trois-Rivières], and we’ve struck a deal I would say the economic is certainly better for us because it gives us more avenues to make the economics work,”

-Dean macdonald to cbc news

The move would cut down on the subsidy for the Newfoundland Growlers. The Growlers have to pay a subsidy for teams to fly in and out of Newfoundland.

All of Newfoundland’s opponents during the 2019-20 season flew into St. John’s International Airport.

NOTHING IS SET IN STONE

While a deal is reached between potential ownership and a new arena, nothing has been confirmed. The league has to allow for the franchise to play in Trois-Rivières, which would be proposed for the 2021-22 season. An application must be made to the league in order for this process to happen. No application has been submitted to the ECHL as of July 9.

ECHL Week made it clear in a tweet a few days ago, stating that the recent announcement has nothing to do with the ECHL.

A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Zack Power covers the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and various other AHL news for The Sin Bin.
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