The Montreal Canadiens announced on Tuesday that they have agreed to a three-year deal with Trois-Rivieres on an ECHL Affiliate. This deal is set to begin during the 2021-22 season. Former Canadien Marc-Andre Bergeron will serve as the team’s Vice President and GM. He spent 10 years in the NHL and is a native of Trois-Rivieres.
This news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as this negotiations have been ongoing with rumours spreading for the past few months. For Montreal, this marks a huge move, as they can send young prospects who still need to develop. Over the past few years, Montreal has sent some prospects to Adirondack, including in 2019-20 season when they sent Hayden Verbeek and Michael McNiven to join the Thunder.
Trois-Rivieres is located 140 kilometres away and having both ECHL and AHL teams in close proximity is extremely convenient. With how deep the Canadiens farm system is, they should be one of the stronger ECHL teams. Don’t be surprised if Montreal does something similar to what Toronto does with the Marlies and Growlers. Officially, 26 of the NHL’s 31 teams have established partnerships with ECHL affiliates. Expect that number to grow to 28, as I expect Minnesota and San Jose to be the next in line with affiliates next season.