IceCaps set adrift, transform into Moose

Way back in January 2014 there was speculation the St. John’s IceCaps would be relocated closer to their NHL team Winnipeg Jets. The speculation was targeting Thunder Bay, ON.

Fast forward to March 2015 and True North Sports & Entertainment made it official that the St. John’s IceCaps would no longer be the Jets AHL team and would be relocating the franchise much closer to the home team Jets. In fact, they relocated them back to Winnipeg, back in the MTS Centre and back as the Manitoba Moose.

The IceCaps live on and are now the official development team for the Montreal Canadiens, having relocated from Hamilton.

As for the Moose, there was never a question that if the AHL came back to Winnipeg, the team would be named the Manitoba Moose as an homage to the past that managed to bring us back the Winnipeg Jets. Surprisingly, other names were considered for the franchise, ultimately settling on the Moose name to represent the past, present and future of hockey in Winnipeg.

Is this a good thing?

Not only is this a good thing for the city of Winnipeg, TNSE (owners of the MTS Centre, Winnipeg Jets & Manitoba Moose) and hockey fans, but it’s a great thing for the players on both squads.

While minimal interaction will happen between the two teams, you can’t help but expect some positive effects to be had.

  • It’s easier to call up an AHL player for a practice when needed, giving a developing player more ice time at a higher calibre of play
  • Travel time will be significantly reduced when a player is need to fill in for an injured player – even when on the road
  • Hockey will be more accessible to more people based solely on price point and schedule

The Manitoba Moose are currently selling their 38 game season tickets as well as 11, 20 & 29 game mini packs. Tickets start at $570 – or just $15 per game – in the 200 level of the MTS Centre. The schedule is typically released in August and if history repeats itself, the season will start in early October.

Now the big question, how many Moose games will you be attending this season?

HOT: We’re looking for Moose writers.

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Marshall Stevenson regularly contributes to one of the best Winnipeg Jets blogs as an editor and co-founder while also working on JET FUEL – a documentary about Winnipeg Jets fans. Of course he's also behind the only official, unofficial Jets fan gear site. And as if he wasn't busy enough, a co-host on the popular Winnipeg Jets focused Jets Hockey Podcast.

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