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Habs reveal Laval farm team’s new name

In this file photo, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, left to right, team owner Geoff Molson, Laval Mayor Marc Demers and Place Bell manager Vincent Lucier pose for photos at a news conference Monday, July 11, 2016 in Laval, Quebec. The team announced they will move their American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, to Laval for the start of the 2017 season.
In this file photo, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, left to right, team owner Geoff Molson, Laval Mayor Marc Demers and Place Bell manager Vincent Lucier pose for photos at a news conference Monday, July 11, 2016 in Laval, Quebec. The team announced they will move their American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps, to Laval for the start of the 2017 season. Ryan Remiorz/The Global News

It’s official: The Montreal Canadiens’ farm team in Laval has found a name. The AHL affiliate will begin play at Laval’s Place Bell in 2017-18 under the moniker, the Laval Rocket.

The name is the result of a fan contest held between July 11 and August 31, 2016.

At first fans were asked to submit their ideas for a new name. As the contest progressed participants were asked to select their favourite name based on a list of 12 semi-finalists that was eventually narrowed down to three finalists.

READ MORE: The St. John’s IceCaps are moving to Laval

Organizers say the Rocket was a clear favourite from the get-go and won the final round with 51 per cent of the vote.

“From the opening day of the contest it was clear that the ‘Rocket’ entry would be a heavy favourite among some 850 different names submitted,” said Vincent Lucier, president of the Laval amphitheater.

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In a written statement Lucier added the name was a fitting tribute to legendary Habs’ player Maurice “Rocket” Richard.

The runners-up were the Patriotes clinching 24 per cent of the votes, and the Rapides took 25 per cent out of 54,000 ballots cast.

Lucier said he’s excited by the response the contest elicited and it bodes well for the future of the team.

“With this contest, we wanted to give our fans an opportunity to get involved in choosing a nickname for their team. If this craze is any indication for what lies ahead for the team in Laval we can certainly expect with a future filled with enthusiasm.”

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