The Laval Rocket (French: Rocket de Laval) are a professional ice hockey team playing in the American Hockey League (AHL) as an affiliate of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Montreal Canadiens. Based in Laval, Quebec, Canada, the Rocket play their home games at Place Bell.
|2021–22 AHL season|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Home arena||Place Bell|
|Colours||Red, white and blue|
|Owner(s)||Molson family (majority owner) |
(Geoff Molson, chairman)
|Head coach||Jean-François Houle|
|Affiliates||Montreal Canadiens (NHL)|
Trois-Rivières Lions (ECHL)
|1971–1984||Nova Scotia Voyageurs|
|2015–2017||St. John's IceCaps|
|Division Championships||1: (2020–21)|
On July 11, 2016, the AHL and the Montreal Canadiens announced that they would be moving their affiliate to the Montreal suburb of Laval for the 2017–18 season. A name-the-team contest was held from July 11 until August 31, with Patriots, Rapids and Rocket as the final three. On September 8, the winning Laval Rocket name was announced, a tribute to Canadiens' legend Maurice "Rocket" Richard which got a 51% majority of the fan votes. The Rocket are the second hockey team in Greater Montreal to use that nickname, after the QMJHL's Montreal Rocket from 1999 until 2003. In June 2017, the franchise named Larry Carriere as general manager and retained Sylvain Lefebvre as head coach, a position he held since 2012 when the franchise played as the Hamilton Bulldogs.
In the 2017–18 season, Laval finished with a 24–42–7–3 record and placed last overall in the league. Lefebvre was relieved as head coach immediately upon the end of the season and was replaced by Joel Bouchard, who had been serving as head coach and general manager of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL.
For the 2020–21 season, the Rocket temporarily relocated to the Bell Centre in Montreal to share the facility with their parent team during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rocket were the Canadian Division champions and second-best winning percentage in the league, while playing only the other four teams based in Canada and no postseason during the pandemic. After the season ended, head coach Bouchard left the team at the end of his contract, compiling a 83–67–24 record over three seasons, to become the head coach of the San Diego Gulls. The Rocket then hired Jean-François Houle as their third head coach.
Logos and uniformsEdit
On January 31, 2017, the Laval Rocket revealed the logo and jersey design that the team would wear during their inaugural season. The colours of the Laval Rocket jersey are red, white, and blue and were chosen to mirror the colours of their parent-club, the Montreal Canadiens. As a further tribute to Maurice "Rocket" Richard, patches with the number 9 and a stylized flame appear on each of the sleeves. The stylized flame is also found below the player's number on the back of the jersey and on the back of the player's socks. Each sleeve also has a shield patch with the word Le Rocket found inside. The name of the city the Rocket play out of, Laval, is displayed on each shoulder as well as in the neck tie region of the jersey.
The main logo is a large blue 'R' that is outlined and highlighted in white. The word 'Rocket' runs along the inside of the 'R' in white. While all other logos and patches alternate colours depending on the home or away jersey, the main logo remains blue on both the red and white jerseys.
|2017–18||76||24||42||7||3||58||.382||206||281||7th, North||2018||Did not qualify|
|2018–19||76||30||34||6||6||72||.474||195||231||7th, North||2019||Did not qualify|
|2019–20||62||30||24||5||3||68||.548||183||182||6th, North||2020||Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2020–21||36||23||9||3||1||50||.694||113||87||1st, Canadian||2021||No playoffs were held|
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- "Joël Bouchard quitte le Rocket de Laval". Le Journal de Montréal (in French). July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
- "Anaheim Ducks Name Joel Bouchard San Diego Gulls Head Coach". OurSports Central. July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
- "Jean-François Houle Appointed Head Coach of the Laval Rocket". OurSports Central. July 20, 2021. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
- "Logo and uniform reveal of the Laval Rocket - Rocket de Laval". Laval Rocket. January 31, 2017. Archived from the original on May 22, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- "Team – Rocket Laval". Laval Rocket. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
- "Rocket de Laval Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
- "Canadiens Montreal Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved December 2, 2021.