July 09, 2010

Part 5: Why Not Quebec City? : As the Quebec Nordiques struggled financially in the early 1990s, then-Premier Jacques Parizeau asked team president Marcel Aubut for best- and worst-case scenarios. “I remember for the worst, we showed him something that [was so dire] we were laughing,” Aubut said. “We said that would never happen.” But the situation deteriorated beyond the worst case, Aubut said, insisting still today that the sale to Denver-based ownership for $75-million (U.S.) was the only recourse. Fifteen years later, Aubut and others in Quebec City are trying to bring the NHL back to the city. They point to the NHL’s salary cap and the consistent strength of the Canadian dollar as positive differences between now and then. And the province’s capital offers comparative political stability, the country’s lowest unemployment rate, a growing private-business sector, and a ferocious appetite for hockey.

posted by tommytrump to hockey at 09:45 AM - 1 comment

Quebec City would be a very small market for the NHL and a lot of people will likely pooh-pooh the idea because of that fact - but regardless, Quebec is a really special city with an amazing level of civic pride (fuelled partly by the fact that Montreal is so dominant within the province) and an almost fanatical devotion to the *real* beautiful game of hockey.

As well, more than almost anywhere there are built-in rivalries that will probably immediately be re-born from the former incarnation of the Nordiques - not just with Montreal but also Boston (there are many now-small but long-standing linkages between Boston and Quebec City - including around a million Quebec migrants to Massachusetts and New Hampshire in the early 20th C, and there is talk of a high-speed rail link between the two). And I'm pretty sure a new rivalry with the Senators would grow pretty quickly.

PKP (shortened version of Pierre-Karl Peladeau) is batshitinsane, but rich as hell and owns what might be the best "media platform" for a sports team in the entire league.

The only problem from where I sit is that it would screw up the current Conference/Division organization, which is pretty perfect (at least in the East) at the moment.

posted by mikelbyl at 10:57 AM on July 09, 2010

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