With Tuesday’s formal confirmation of the NHL’s return to Winnipeg, it is likewise time to cue the migration of the Manitoba Moose and to ask “Where to now?”
Although some reports have had the team, in conjunction with the parent Vancouver Canucks, transferring to St. John’s, Nfld., the AHL has frankly outgrown the Maritime provinces. So there is no need for the likes of Cape Breton, Fredericton, Moncton, or Saint John to get their hopes up, either. Major junior is as good as it will get around those parts.
Quebec City, too, should be happy with the QMJHL’s Remparts, for that’s been the only team it can sustain. After the NHL’s Nordiques bolted in 1995, Quebec tried the IHL with the Rafales and then the AHL with the Citadelles, who survived for two and three seasons, respectively.
Other past AHL cities are similarly too small and/or too compressed by neighboring franchises. We’re looking at you, Lowell and New Haven (which has yet to replace the Coliseum it demolished four years ago).
But beyond northeastern North America sit an abundance of viable candidates, each with a respectable history of professional hockey. On that note, in alphabetical order, here are the top 10 choices for the Moose to flood their new pond.