Bisons

Granby Bisons
Granby Prédateurs

Arena Name: Arena Leonard Grondin
Capacity: 3,000 (2,346 seated)
Built: 1967
Address: 601 rue Léon Harmel, Granby, QC, J2G 2V1
Last Game: 1997
Ice Surface Size: 200' X 85'

QMJHL
Arena Leonard Grondin
Arena Leonard Grondin
What was the Arena Like?
The Leonard Grondin Arena doesn't look even close to being a CHL arena from the outside. Named for a local businessman and located next to a high school in a quiet neighbourhood, the building is covered in aluminum siding and has no architectural presence at all; on the outside it's indistinguishable from hundreds of identical buildings across Canada. On normal days, the front doors are locked, and one enters the building via a side door that opens into a single community sheet of ice with no stands or anything else of the like. Surely this was not the home of the 1996 Memorial Cup champions? However, the feeling changes when you walk through a little alcove and into the main arena.

It doesn't seem possible that an arena that feels as spacious on the inside as Leonard Grondin Arena could be the same as the aluminum barn seen from the outside. It's a clean, well-kept and colourful building on the inside, with a wide main concourse at ice level and a ring of seats raised above the arena floor to the top of the building. The wooden seats are a typical 1960's red, blue, yellow and orange, but all the accents in the rink are a classy green and white. A small scoreboard and press box complete the setup, as does one single banner. There is no sign of the 1996 Memorial Cup championship team here, but there is a retired number for the one legend to have played junior hockey in Granby - Patrick Roy.

These days, the only Bisons one will find in Granby live at the legendary Granby Zoo. But Granby will always have their Memorial Cup, and their arena is, as surprising as it looks from the outside, not too far off of QMJHL standards for the province of Quebec.
How To Get There
From A-10 Eastbound: Exit at #68, Boul. David-Bouchard sud, and proceed north. Turn right at rue Cowie. Turn left at rue St-Urbain. St-Urbain will turn into rue Léon-Harmel.

From A-10 Westbound: Exit at #74, Boul. Pierre-Laporte, and proceed north. When Pierre-Laporte dead-ends, turn left onto rue Denison. Turn right onto boul. Mountain, then make an immediate left onto rue Principale. Turn left onto rue Guy, and follow it until it dead-ends at rue St-Urbain. Turn right. St-Urbain will turn into rue Léon-Harmel.
Inside the Arena Leonard Grondin
Arena Leonard Grondin
What's it Used For Today?
In 1981, following a couple of years essentially homeless, the Sorel/Verdun Éperviers moved to Granby to take up permanent residence as the Bisons. The arena was then known as the Palais des Sports. In a decade and a half in Granby, the Bisons were generally an also-ran in the Q, and were best known outside the South Shore of the St. Lawrence for developing Patrick Roy. That all changed in 1995 though - the team was renamed the Prédateurs and given hideous-even-by-Quebec-standards purple and red uniforms modelled after St. Louis's pinstripe design and an ugly dragon logo. That said, the team went on a tear in 1995-96, culminating their season by winning the province of Quebec's first Memorial Cup since 1971.

However, the small capacity of the Arena Leonard Grondin and even smaller crowds within sent the team packing to Cape Breton in 1997, where they became the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The arena today is home to community skating as well as the Granby Inouks of the ridiculously-named Quebec Junior A League, the LHJAAAQ.
Formerly Retired Numbers
30 Patrick Roy
Feedback
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at email and I'll update the guide.


 

 


Copyright © Kevin Jordan 2002-08.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: October 22, 2008