Habs Name Brampton ECHL Affiliate


The Montreal Canadiens minor league shakeup continues. They have named the Brampton Beast as their new ECHL affiliate.

Montreal already switched their American Hockey League affiliate for next season. They now are the parent club of the St Johns IceCaps, who the Winnipeg Jets gave up to bring the Manitoba Moose to the MTS Centre. Their former AHL affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, were relegated to the OHL junior league.

The Beast have been in the ECHL for three seasons and spent last year without a parent club.

“Montreal is the most iconic franchise in the NHL,” said Beast president and general manager Cary Kaplan to the Times Colonist. “They have also shown a virtually unparalleled commitment to development from within. We are confident that partnering with Montreal and St John’s will be instrumental to our own on-ice success, and will also add another level of credibility to the Beast brand.” 

Last season the Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins shared their ECHL affiliate as the Wheeling Nailers. NHL clubs typically have shared their ECHL affiliate in the past.

The deal with the Beast isn’t out of the blue. Montreal sent their second round pick Dalton Thrower to Brampton mid way through last season. The Penguins will remain the affiliate parent for Wheeling.

“We realized then, the professionalism that was behind the whole organization,” IceCaps head coach Sylvain Lefebvre said about Thrower’s time with the team to the Toronto Observer. “It spoke for itself for this relationship to start.”Via the Toronto Observer:

"“Any hockey fan will agree, the most storied franchise of all time is the Montreal Canadiens,” Beast General Manager Cary Kaplan told those in attendance at Brampton City Hall on Thursday. “If people still say ‘Who are you?’ We are the affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.”"

Brampton will work with the St Johns IceCaps with their player development for Montreal.