Deux-Montagnes mayor Denis Martin and Councillor Margaret Lavallée are enthusiastic about a practice session the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada will be holding at the Olympia. They hope it helps pave the way to getting a AAA hockey team to take up residence at the arena.
As part of an effort to try and bring a quality minor league hockey team to Deux-Montagnes where they might play regularly at the municipal arena, the city is inviting residents to attend a free public practice by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada at the Olympia on Nov. 14 at 1 pm.
According to Councillor Margaret Lavallée who is responsible for sports and recreation on city council, the main purpose of the event is for Deux-Montagnes families to come out to the Olympia for an afternoon of fun. But at the same time, she added, the city wants to evaluate the viability of having a hockey club set up its base of operations at the arena.
Having the Armada over as a guest is seen as a good way to start. “This is an animated practice, which means they’ll demonstrate what they do, how they train and how they win games,” said Lavallée. “You can also have pictures taken with the players afterwards if you want. It’s free and we’re trying to fill the arena as much as we can.”
While the Armada play in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the City of Deux-Montagnes is looking to interest a team that’s a little lower in the junior hockey pecking order – AAA hopefully. A block of ice time is available at the Olympia on Saturday nights and city officials see minor league hockey as something that could help make the Deux-Montagnes municipal arena more financially viable.
“We want to get the arena recognized, we need more traffic at the arena,” Lavallée said in an interview with the North Shore News. “The more business and the more people that come in the better it will be for the city and for the residents. We’re hoping we can bring junior teams to our arena.”
The event is taking place as a fundraiser for the Association de hockey mineur Lac des Deux-Montagnes and Ringuette Deux-Montagnes. Members of the two groups will be selling fundraising tickets during the Armada practice event. “They can then choose to do what they want with the money,” said Lavallée.
Mayor Denis Martin said he is hopeful the practice session will help spark interest in bringing a hockey team permanently to the Deux-Montagnes arena. “We’ve had major hockey events here once or twice before and they filled the arena,” he said. “We’re hard at work on this idea to be able to offer this to the population.”