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Quebec City mayor remains optimistic about NHL return

Jul 3, 2013, 5:48 PM EDT

Nordiques Rally Hockey AP

Even after last night’s vote in Glendale that’s expected to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the desert for at least another five years, the mayor of Quebec City, Regis Labeaume, is “convinced” the NHL will be back in his city eventually.

Per the Canadian Press, he’s got a right to be optimistic.

A $400 million arena is currently under construction in Quebec City, with completion expected in 2015.

Meanwhile, media mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau is eager to own an NHL team, should one be granted through expansion or relocation.

“Pierre Karl Peladeau is like me,” said Labeaume. “If it’s not this one, let’s try again. He’s not the type to be disappointed, and that’s not my style either.”

The Nordiques left Quebec City for Colorado in 1995.

  1. jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    This article with mention of the Coyotes is ridiculous. They weren’t going to go there anyway.

    • Jason Brough - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      The mayor was asked about it BECAUSE of the Coyotes vote. It was the whole damn point!

      • jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

        There wasn’t the slightest glimpse of hope from the NHL that they were ever going there so if they were counting on it then it’s even more ridiculous. I’M SO DISAPPOINTED THAT WE DIDN’T GET A TEAM WE WEREN’T EVEN IN CONTENTION FOR, ON TO THE NEXT.

  2. jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    And the mention of “he’s not the type to be disappointed” means they’re disappointed (which is fair, they obviously want a team). It’s like when LeBlanc was talking during the CoG counsil meeting last night and began a sentence with “Trust me”…funny stuff.

    • Jason Brough - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      That’s not what you said originally. You said linking his comments to the Coyotes story was ridiculous, when in fact he was specifically referring to the Coyotes story.

      • jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        You can read that two ways, one in which I’m saying it’s ridiculous that you made the reference, or the fact that they reference it when it was irrelevant on their part. So, my bad for not being clear.

  3. thenewraoulduke - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    As a Coyotes fan I hope they get a team too.

  4. ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    If you add two expansion teams to the NHL, you have four divisions of eight teams each. NHL owners would get paid expansion fees by two new ownership groups.

    Throw in Quebec City as one expansion team, and throw in a second (Seattle, Markham, Las Vegas, Hartford, Kansas City, etc) as the other. I’m surprised that there isn’t some Las Vegas book where we can bet on who the two new expansion teams will be.

    • jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      I would bet on Seattle and Quebec at this point with Kansas City as a fall back if an existing situation doesn’t work. There are owners in Quebec and Seattle with deep pockets that would pay for what it takes for an expansion team…KC, maybe not so much, especially with the uncertainty of the market.

      • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:31 PM

        They’ve done studies that show the Greater Toronto Area (where Markham is located) could support another two teams in addition to the Leafs.

        So Markham is paying $325 million dollars to build a 20,000 seat arena billed as an “NHL-size” rink. The whole point of spending that kind of money is that maybe an NHL team will come.

        If a team has to move (say in five years), this would be a ready-made NHL arena in a hockey-mad market. An expansion team also works.

    • frankiesweep - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:12 PM

      Vegas would be a mess…. Total failure… Most people that live there are poor… You going to fill a 17,000 seat arena w/ tourists every night?

      Vegas is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.

      • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        It’s been out there for a while, as a potential market.

  5. steelers88 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    I just don’t see how a team in Qubec would work it’s pretty close to Montreal and the Canadiens have a pretty strong and big fan base. I know the Nordiques and Canadiens used to have a fierce rivalry but it seems like the Canadiens and Bruins or the Canadiens and Leafs are pretty fierce rivals. I’m just worried that moving a NHL would make that much revenue because of the Canadiens.

    • sizzle299 - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      worst comment ever

    • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      That’s like saying you don’t need a team in Pittsburgh because Philly is in the same state.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I am not entirely convinced that the NHL has such an overabundance of great players that its biggest problem is not having enough teams to put them on.

  7. Habib Marwan - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    the league is too watered down and diluted as it is with 30 teams… no thanks ..

  8. titansbro - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Common sense says teams in Florida & Arizona should be in Quebec & Seattle. But the NHL has zero common sense. Although they did move the Thrashers out of Atlanta to Winnipeg.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:39 AM

      Under what basis would you say Florida should be moved? Why on earth would anyone move a team that draws 99.7% to capacity in the 6th largest NHL arena move? A team that averages 9 fans short of 17,000 while having the worst record in the league. Or maybe we should move a team that averaged 16,628 two seasons ago after not making the playoffs in 12 seasons. The last time the Panthers made the playoffs before two years ago, Minnesota and Columbus were in their first seasons, and the now moved Atlanta Thrashers were in their 2nd year. I don’t care what team in any sport, if you don’t make the playoffs for 10 years fans don’t show up.

  9. frankiesweep - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Didn’t they have a team in QC, but then the French owner sold it to Americans and we took it away?

    • channelguy - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      No, the 60 cent Canadian dollar then took the team away – and Winnipeg’s too. Normal Canadian dollar value is 95-98 cents. So costs were inflated by a third, and some Canadian teams couldn’t compete.

  10. bullwinkle88 - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    Seattle will be an awful flop if the NHL ever moves there. They know nothing about hockey and care less. e.g. none of the NHL finals on NBC were even televised in the region!

    The owner is all about the NBA. In fact if the NHL comes in before the NBA, they will be second citizen tenants when the NBA arrives.

    Who needs that? Get lost Seattle!!!

  11. beaver15 - Jul 3, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Ray, propose that prop bet to a sports book, I’m sure they’ll provide one

  12. channelguy - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    I don’t see the attraction of Seattle either. Markham and Quebec are the best two open markets — its not even close. But thats why the NHL won’t let teams move there — they can hit both up for extravagant expansion fees which they WILL get — and wouldnt in any open US market.

    So with those two out of the picture, you don’t have much to pick from, especially if the team has to be in the west. Seattle’s main claim seems to be that they have always supported their JUNIOR team well. But their arena sucks, and there’s not much NHL interest there.

    Vegas is an even worse choice. I don’t know how people can seriously suggest it. Portland isn’t viable either, unless Paul Allen changes his mind, and shows interest in owning the team, in which case it would instantly become a strong contender.

    Kansas City is probably the best bet. They do have a good arena. (Of course Hamilton built a great arena too to attract a team — almost 40 years ago — and it never happened. And if you are familiar with run-down Hamilton and the scary downtown area at night around the arena, you know why). Kansas City failed with their first shot at a team, an expansion team that came in the same time as the Capitals. But Colorado failed their first time out as well, and now are a fairly strong franchise.

    The catch is that NONE of these markets are a real strong option — or Glendale would have had their team ripped away like Atlanta did, when Winnipeg was there as a viable plan B for the league/

  13. hasekneverretires - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    All these years of the Canadians spewing hatred over Arizona and now what? One day…maybe…I believe we’ll get another team…I think. Karmas a b**ch Canada !!!

    • dudermcrbohan - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      you don’t seem to know what karma is.

  14. dudermcrbohan - Jul 3, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    I would LOVE to see a team there, just so long as its not an expansion team.

  15. shanesander - Jul 4, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    hoping they get a team from expansion now that PHX/ARZ isn’t moving… if the league expands to 32 ( 2 of Quebec/Seattle/Hamilton) i hope it stops there. 32 is more than enough.

  16. matt14gg - Jul 4, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    There are so many permutations, but the bottom line is that QC needs an NHL team. It was a great NHL city and despite what one of the commenters above said, there was a great and bitter rivalry between the Habs and the Nords when the team existed.

    Only problem with QC is that, even more so than Montreal, the xenophobia and anti-anglo sentiment that exists there makes it an unfriendly place for outsiders. It’s a beautiful city, but god forbid you don’t speak french. And despite the fact they are building a new arena, the economy there is a mess.

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