Montreal Canadiens to Share Bell Centre With Laval Rocket

LAVAL, QC - DECEMBER 28: Laval Rocket. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
LAVAL, QC - DECEMBER 28: Laval Rocket. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens will share their home with the Laval Rocket.

Montreal Canadiens games have been played at the Bell Centre since they moved from the Montreal Forum in 1996. It was named the Molson Centre for the first six years before changing its name to the Bell Centre.

During that time, the Canadiens were the only pro team that called the Bell Centre home, but that is about to change.

The Laval Rocket will join the Habs in playing their home games at the Bell Centre as well.

The American Hockey League announced earlier this week that they will play this season and plan on starting on February 5th. The Rocket will be joined by the Belleville Senators, Manitoba Moose and Toronto Marlies in the AHL’s version of the Canadian Division.

Their schedule is yet to be released, but rumours had it that some AHL teams would only play a 24 games schedule. Considering there are four teams in the country and they won’t be able to cross the border, it makes the most sense that the Canadian division will be the one playing just 24 games.

That means the Rocket will only need to take over the Bell Centre ice 12 times this season. With the Canadiens playing a 56 game schedule against Canadian teams only, there are a handful of long trips out west to face the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames so it won’t be difficult for the schedule makers to fit the Rocket’s dozen home games into the arena’s agenda.

The reason for the move is that the Bell Centre is better equipped to follow the health guidelines set out by the province to combat the spread of Covid-19. There is no word on a start date for training camp, but the Rocket’s first game should be on February 5th.

The Rocket will return to Place Bell in Laval for the 2021-22 season.