Of the new rinks, this has got to be one of, if not the, best! You'd expect nothing less from Montreal, the hockey mecca.
Recently renamed "Belle Centre", the capacity here is 21,500 and the place is immaculate. It's certainly the most impressive arena I've ever been in. They've tried to keep up the nostalgia of the Old Forum here, which is something that just couldn't be done. That said, check out the busts of all the old Canadiens greats on the lower concourse; the management went out of its way to commemorate the franchise's winning tradition here and did a good job of it. The banners in the rafters speak for themselves--no banners for Conference or Division championships, just Stanley Cup banners. And only the greatest of greats have their numbers hanging from the ceiling. Just looking at them can be enough to give you goosebumps.
All of that aside, the atmosphere here is electric. The fans are incredibly intense, passionate, and very knowledgable. The bilingual aspect is cool too, what with francophones and anglophones coming together to feverishly cheer the same team; to experience that is a feeling you won't get anywhere else, except perhaps Ottawa, but that's not anything like this. Even when the place isn't full you still have upwards of 18,000 in attendance. Concessions are quite good, if on the expensive side, and well laid-out so as to keep the lines down. Make an effort to try a hot dog--the bun is toasted and they're made in a way distinct to Quebec. You may be startled by the liquor concessions all over the building, which is nice if you're fixin' to drink some hard liquor.
Bathrooms are well laid out and there's a big indoor smoking area. The arena is easy to get to, being right off the freeway, and easily reached be metro. That said, parking is congested and getting out of here by car after the game ain't going to be easy.
Tickets aren't cheap but then, I'm from Toronto, and everywhere has cheaper tickes than TO. Tickets aren't that hard to get but, as the Habs improve over the course of a season, the availability of tickets decreases sharply!
This place is one of the best places I've ever been to see a game! The only drawback is it's not the old Forum--but hey, what can you do? If they had to move out of the old place and build a new rink, then they did the task well. They built a place that is worthy of housing the most storied franchise in NHL history, and you still feel it when you walk in the door.