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McKenzie: No guarantee Quebec City gets NHL team

Mar 26, 2012, 7:31 PM EDT

Quebec City arena

When Quebec City made it official Sunday that an NHL-ready rink would be built by 2015, many considered it a sure sign the Phoenix Coyotes would be moving to La Belle Province at the end of the season.

Not so fast, says TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The NHL’s goal remains keeping the Coyotes in Glendale. So stop wondering who Patrick Roy should draft in June. And hold off on the plans for Wilf Paiement appreciation night.

That said, McKenzie acknowledged time’s quickly running out to find an owner that’s willing to keep the Coyotes at Arena for the long run.

The NHL cannot possibly wait as long this year as it did last year for the Phoenix situation to resolve itself. Last year, the Coyotes were not locked in for another season in Phoenix until almost mid-May and the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg didn’t take place until the end of May.

The NHL was able to wait as long last year because True North – the owner of the Jets – had an entire hockey and business and arena infrastructure ready, willing and able to accept a franchise at the last minute.

In spite of Sunday’s arena news conference in Quebec City, neither Quebec nor Seattle are as well positioned as Winnipeg. So unless Phoenix is resolved in short order, the league will at the very least have to begin laying some relocation groundwork in the very near future.

Of note, McKenzie wonders if Quebec City is actually the NHL’s first choice for relocation, writing “Seattle may be a more desirable location.”

He also floats the possibility of expanding from 30 to 32 teams in the near future (exactly how near, nobody knows).

Related: NHL set to begin “Plan B” for Coyotes

  1. sjsharksfan11 - Mar 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Gotta love how Canada feels “entitled” and bullys the NHL for teams. Take the Jets for example……

  2. yotesfan3 - Mar 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM


  3. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    How did Winnipeg “bully” the NHL for a team? They got an AHL team in 98, built a new arena in 2004, quietly put together 2 presentations to the league, keep their mouth shut & never went public about their desire for a team. The NHL needed Winnipeg more then Winnipeg needing the NHL. There was no bullying about it. Just because Phoenix has lost money EVERY year they’ve been their doesn’t mean tou have to throw out wild, ridiculous accusations. Do your homework

    • habsman - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      He can’t help it, he’s a typical American clown.

  4. yotesfan3 - Mar 27, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Phoenix would make money if they didnt put the arena in mini mexico

  5. pavelfitzgerald - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Really? That’s the best you got?
    Didn’t they also lose money the first 7(!!) years they were in Phoenix BEFORE they moved to Glendale/Mesa? Imagine how much worse attendance would be if you didn’t have all those Canadians living there in the winter .. .. .. So what’s the excuse now?

  6. buffalomafia - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    With good ownership that cares & knows hockey I would like to see hockey back in Atlanta!

  7. crusty14 - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I hope your attempting to be funny buffalomania! Atlanta has had 2 cracks at having an NHL team and failed both times. I think there are several cities who deserve a shot at success before Atlanta gets a third try at failing miserably.

  8. buffalomafia - Mar 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    @crusty- your probably right but I lived in ATL for a year & enjoyed going to the games.

    Ownership blows for hockey! They gave away all there good talent for peanuts.

    • govtminion - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      That’s bull and you know it. They didn’t get any peanuts from those deals! Maybe a few peanut shells, at best!

  9. yotesfan3 - Mar 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    You get a hockey stadium in scottsdale and stable ownership phoenix isnt even a question. If you get off work by five sit in traffic to go to an arena thats far away with puck drop at 7? You get there 7:45. Nobody wants to pay for 2/3 of a game! Building the arena in glendale was a mistake! However Phoenix is a hockey market! If it was not they would have gave up all ready

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