October 05, 2015

If Quebec builds a stadium, will the Nordiques come?: The long-suffering supporters of the Quebec Nordiques...now have a shiny new stadium in which to enjoy their national sport. The only problem? Until the league awards the city a new franchise they still don't have a team to play there.

posted by NoMich to hockey at 08:41 AM - 6 comments

Some apparently well placed sources (? is there such an animal) are reporting that Bettman wants Vegas and Seattle as new franchises and would like to keep Quebec in his back pocket to move a US franchise that hasn't or doesn't pan out (likely Phoenix, but possibly Vegas or Seattle).

The current state of the NHL as a business allows it to deal from a position of strength but it still seems like a gamble to pursue a franchise in a city that doesn't appear to want one (Seattle) rather than just put Quebec's money in the bank.

If there is any interest from Seattle they certainly have some leverage on reducing or eliminating any up front NHL franchise fees.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:03 AM on October 05, 2015

Is there a group that holds the Nordiques name and colors, brand imaging, etc.?

It would be great to see a new Quebec jersey that kept the fleur de lis but omitted the elephant zamboni logo on the front. Winnipeg did such a knockout job with the new Jets look, could Quebec do as well as that?

Don't want to derail the topic by changing sports but also have wondered why the CFL might not want to add a fifth East team in Quebec to balance the league's divisions.

Hope they can get both hockey and football.

posted by beaverboard at 10:29 AM on October 05, 2015

why the CFL might not want to add a fifth East team in Quebec to balance the league's divisions

The CFL has a lot of trouble drawing fans anywhere but in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (Toronto draws less than 15K fans per game on average and Montreal around 21K).

There has been a few exhibition games held in the maritime provinces that have reputations for strong support of their local university and professional affiliate leagues to gauge the interest there.

Thinking is Quebec City would not support anything other than an NHL franchise much like Toronto or Montreal.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:13 AM on October 05, 2015

Is there a group that holds the Nordiques name and colors, brand imaging, etc.?

From what I can tell, based on some googling around, seems these are actually held by the NHL (and not the Avs). Different leagues treat these things differently (or they shake out differently in different specific acquisition/relocation contexts). I believe the Thunder (or its ownership) own the Sonics trademarks, for example. I recall that when Modell took the Browns to Baltimore, he did so on the condition that the team name, trademarks, and history be left behind, to be held in trust by the city of Cleveland until the new Browns team came into the league a couple of years later. From trademark records, appears the Hurricanes own the Hartford Whalers trademark but conveyed the logo to the NHL.

posted by holden at 12:56 PM on October 05, 2015

The NHL owned the rights to the Jets name and previous logo when they returned to Winnipeg. Not sure if True North had to pay the NHL to name the current squad.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:54 PM on October 05, 2015

The Oklahoma City Thunder do own the Seattle SuperSonics trademarks and continue to profit on them. As part of the deal to release them from the KeyArena obligations they're required to repatriate free of charge them to Seattle, if Seattle ever gets a NBA team.

The Brown's deal was special in that it was quickly apparent that the Ohio Congressional Delegation was going to make the NFL's life a living hell if they left for Baltimore, so they came up with a unique solution in that they awarded Modell an expansion franchise for the low fee of the existing Browns franchise. The NFL then traded all the players, coaches, etc from the Browns to the new Ravens in exchange for all the Raven's rights in the expansion draft. The Browns were marked inactive and then put into a trust to hold it until new owners could be found and the team and it could be re-activated.

posted by jmauro at 09:51 PM on October 05, 2015

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