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Introducing the Lions de Trois-Rivières

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The Montreal Canadiens’ new ECHL affiliate unveils its team name.

The Montreal Canadiens’ new ECHL affiliate has unveiled its team name. The franchise will be known as the Lions de Trois-Rivières, a call-back to the team that played in Quebec Hockey League from 1955 to 1959 and in the Eastern Professional Hockey League for the 1959-60 season.

The first head coach should be announced in short order as well, and we should start to see some additions to the hockey operations side of the team. ECHL teams do not normally operate a full complement of assistant coaches like the AHL, so expect a head coach and one assistant if they follow convention. ECHL teams have the option of having one player-coach.

The Laval Rocket signed QMJHL scoring champion Cédric Desruisseaux to a two-way AHL/ECHL contract, so it’s possible that he will play for the Lions this upcoming season if he can’t stick with the Rocket. Terrance Amorosa is also signed to a two-way AHL/ECHL deal with the Rocket, but currently cannot play in Trois-Rivières as his ECHL rights belong to the Allen Americans.

The first day to start signing players to standard ECHL player contracts for the 2021-22 season is July 9. Expect the Lions to sign a lot of local players, as one of the stated purposes of this team is to provide a springboard for Quebec talent into professional hockey. There is some serious interest from players playing in Europe, but ECHL salaries can’t always compete with European ones.