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Quebec City’s new arena begins construction in September

Mar 25, 2012, 2:36 PM EDT

Nordiques Fans Hockey AP

It’s really happening in Quebec City.

Mayor Regis Lebeaume announced today that construction on their new $400 million arena will begin in September with hopes to have it completed by 2015. The only issue left now for Quebec City is to find a NHL team to put in the new place to call it home.

Canadian media giant Quebecor has the exclusive naming rights to the new building and will manage the facility and they also have big ideas about owning a NHL team as well. That kind of arrangement would work well to run a team in the former home of the Quebec Nordiques.

The one team that everyone turns their attention to in these situations is the Phoenix Coyotes and there are many who feel Quebec City should get first shot at bringing the Coyotes to town should the NHL seek to get out of Arizona. With the NHL reportedly looking into “Plan B” for what to do with the ownerless franchise, hopes are sky high in Quebec that their dream of bringing the NHL back to the city will become a reality.

It’s also quite the coincidence that the New York Islanders’ lease with Nassau Coliseum is up in 2015. If the Islanders aren’t forced out of the Coliseum before then by an asbestos investigation, Charles Wang may want to turn his gaze north to Quebec City instead of west to Brooklyn.

  1. buffalomafia - Mar 25, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Seattle or Quebec?

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Both would be nice but Quebec’s in the lead between the two, and I’m pretty sure they want a team more than Seattle does. Keep your hopes up Nordiques fans! This Winnipegger is rootin for ya.

  2. bagjr387 - Mar 25, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    quebec and winnnipeg? within a couple of years of each other? finally the nhl is awake from this coma. now just move florida, phoenix, and tampa bay. that’ll solve some financial problems

    • firstandonlywarning - Mar 25, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Ill leave one Floridian franchise for the snowbirds and other hockey fans.
      Also there is one too many teams in California that should be a candidate to moving to Seattle

      • eastcoastcynic - Mar 25, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        I think the NHL wants to keep all three California teams for their TV demographics. But if the Florida owners get tired of their low attendance and Quebec snatches the Coyotes and the Islanders find a NY area solution, Seattle with its excellent demographics will be waiting with a new arena.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 25, 2012 at 7:24 PM

        Surprisingly, Tampa and Florida have shown an uptick in attendance percentages this year from last according to ESPN. Whether or not they’re making money is a different story but it still bodes well for hockey in the south.

      • bagjr387 - Mar 25, 2012 at 7:38 PM

        the california teams have some fan support. its sad when there is more sabres fans than panthers fans in florida when we play the panthers

  3. cardsandbluesforever - Mar 25, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Quebec definately deserves to have an NHL team. French Canadians eat sleep and breathe hockey 24/7, Quebec city would be the ideal home for the Coyotes. but no matter what franchise ends up moving there the only issue i see is negotiating a deal with the Avalanche ownership for the rights to the Nordiques name. they had the coolest jerseys in the NHL and i would love to see them back on the ice.

    Seattle would also make a great home for an NHL team but they need to get in line behind Quebec city- they deserve first dibs on a team.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 25, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      From what I gathered, the Quebec City owns the right to the Nordiques name. I couldn’t see them having any other name.

      • andidee15 - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        I’m not sure who owns the rights, but Avs fans are still very proud of their Nordiques heritage. You can always find tons of Nords gear in the shops at the Pepsi Center, and it’s very fashionable to be caught wearing an old Fleur-de-lis jersey at games.

        If the Nordiques do return, it’s going to make things very awkward. The Avs chose not to retire any of the Nordiques numbers, so hypothetically a new Nordiques team could have those, but what happens if they try to retire #19 Sakic? Avs fans are going to flip if a second team tries to retire the jersey of a player who only played for one franchise.

        It’s looking more and more like it’s only a question of WHEN Quebec is going to get a team, so it’s going to be very interesting to see how Avs/Nords relations pan out when they do.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Why would they flip? In any case, Quebec fans would do well to learn from the Atl-to-Wpg situation. The Thrashers/Jets 2.0 are not the same franchise that left Winnipeg 16 years ago, and while clearly no one has forgotten Selanne, Hawerchuk, Zhamnov or Bautin (I keed), it’s a new era and a different team. Keep the Nordiques name, remember the former players, but move on as well. It won’t disrespect guys like Sakic, the Stastny’s or LeFleur if their names aren’t hanging from the rafters; the jerseys that Nords fans will wear will speak for themselves.

  4. andidee15 - Mar 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    If the Coyotes are indeed moved to Quebec, that means that the Ex-Jets/Coyotes will be the Nordiques even though they’re completely different from and share no history with the current Jets who are the Ex-Thrashers or the Ex-Nords who are now the Avs.

    I’m kinda hoping that Quebec gets an expansion team instead just so we don’t have to try to explain all of that to new hockey fans.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      What’s to explain? Hockey failed in Phoenix. Nuff said.

  5. boiler72 - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Die-hard Nordiques fan here – I wore my jersey proud yesterday after hearing this news. As for Seattle – they can go piss up a rope. They already have a team – the Canucks. They have no business having a team, when the Canucks are already within so many miles of them. No. The Nords are coming back. I hope the Islanders know how to pack bags and load up trucks. Here’s to the return of the igloo “n”!

    • howe16 - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Die hard Islanders fan here – We’re not going anywhere. Enjoy your new empty arena. Nordiques suck.

  6. nesportsfan0428 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Well I guess I can finally bust out my Nordiques Ron Hextall jersey again :)

    As a die hard Bruins fan, I was sad when both the Whalers and Nordiques moved. There used to be such a good Adams division rivalry that was broken up.

  7. bcisleman - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    BTW the 2015 completion date is just coincidentally the same as the end of the Islander lease. The Quebecor group plans to break groun in September and it takes about 2 years to complete an NHL arena. They undoubtedly plan to have it ready by the start of the 2014-15 season. In the meantime, QC is spending $7 million to upgrade the Colisee. The Quebecor group wants a team now, not in 2015. Not that the Islanders will leave NY anyway.

    • howe16 - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:17 PM

      No franchise wants to move to quebec.

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