Monday, March 10, 2008

Everything old is new again in Montreal

Next year when junior hockey returns to Montreal, there will be a very old school look to the team that takes to the ice at the Verdun Auditorium.

The owners of Le Junior de Montreal introduced their team and its new uniforms today to the media in Montreal, part of the opening days of a season ticket drive to bring junior hockey back to one of hockey’s most recognizable cities.

The Juniors as they’ll no doubt become known as will feature uniforms that harken back to the days of the legendary Montreal Maroons, a simple Maroon coloured uniform with Montreal written across the front, a hockey puck acting as the accent that gives Montreal its flash…

The latest entry in the Quebec Junior league is a relocation franchise as the St. John’s Sea Dogs leave the Newfoundland capital after having troubles attracting enough fans to have local ownership make a go of it. Travel costs and a requirement to fund visiting teams trips to the island also helped make the bottom line of the Sea Dogs a worrisome bit of accounting to work with.

As the Sea Dogs play out the string in Newfoundland, the Q wasn’t discounting that one day they may return to the province, though we’re pretty sure that all leagues say that to all cities when they pull up stakes and move on.

For the new start, it’s a chance to once again return to Montreal, a vital market for junior hockey considering the television and radio exposure that the league will receive with a team in the largest market in the province.

Past attempts however have not been particularly successful, the Rocket were the last team to call the Montreal area home and they moved on a number of years ago due to poor attendance.

However, the new owners of the Juniors have some pretty ambitious plans to transform the Verdun Auditorium into at 10,000 seat home for inexpensive hockey viewing. They are hoping that they can attract those fans that may have a slight bit of trouble coming up with the big coin that is required to see Les Habitants at the Bell Centre.
Photo from the RDS website

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