Quebec Premier to meet Gary Bettman on Nordiques return

Quebec is making an effort to bring back the Nordiques.

François Legault, Premier of Quebec, appeared on RDS ‘Le 5 à 7 on Thursday night and said the provincial government will meet with Gary Bettman in the coming months regarding the return of an NHL team to Quebec.

« I spoke with [Mr. Bettman], and we have meetings with him in the coming months ”, said Legault. “You have to see who is ready to invest. We have an amphitheater in Quebec that has already been built. We are in the process of contacting Mr. Bettman. We are looking at what it takes to bring the Nordiques back. I think we are capable of having a second team in Quebec.

The Nordiques joined the NHL as part of the merger of four WHA teams in 1979 with the Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers.

In 1995, largely because of the weak Canadian dollar, the Nordics moved to western Colorado and became the Avalanche. The Avs, led by former Montreal Canadiens star Patrick Roy, would win the Stanley Cup in their first season.

Quebec City opened a brand new facility, the Videotron Center, in 2015. The Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL are currently the main tenants, but the $ 370 million (CAD) has a capacity of 18,259, more than enough for an NHL team.

The natural assumption is that Quebec will ask Bettman to relocate the Arizona Coyotes, who need a new home for the 2022-2023 season as the town of Glendale pulls out of the joint lease agreement for the Gila River. Arena.

With the NHL just welcoming its 32nd team to the league, the Seattle Kraken, it’s hard to imagine the league will be looking to grow. Having 32 teams gives the symmetry of the NHL, with even 16 teams in the Eastern and Western Conference with eight teams in each division.

Legault also noted on RDS that the Canadiens aren’t doing a good enough job of hiring French players and bringing the Nordiques back would push them to do so.

“There has to be more effort on the part of the Canadians,” said Legault. “I’m still working to try to bring the Nordiques back to Quebec. It would put pressure on Canadians.

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