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Quebec Nordiques II?


Guest jwmann2
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@jwmann2

Welcome to the forum. ;)

Did you see the article written by Steven Hindle ? It sure looks as if Quebec will have a team sooner than 2015.

The Road from Phoenix to Quebec City

A long time in the making, this past weekend the hockey world at large finally received some form of confirmation that the NHL will be returning to Quebec City in the near future.

Announcing the go-ahead to build a brand new $400 million arena, a facility set to be a gold standard in modern arenas when it opens in 2015, the government of Quebec and the Peladeau group, otherwise known as Quebecor, are embarking on this journey with only one mission; to bring back the Nordiques and revive a long suffering population of die-hard hockey fans.

Not so fast, you say?

Well, despite Bob McKenzie recently dousing some of those flames, I can't help but think that hockey is closer to Quebec City than most care to believe.

Though I have yet to write much on this topic, I have been privy to some interesting information regarding this subject over the past few months. Courtesy of a well placed source, I can't help but think that we're witnessing Winnipeg 2.0.

Here are some of the more interesting items that have been passed along to me in the last few weeks (I've put them in a bit of a timeline fashion):

"Anyone who says that we need more time to prepare for marketing and all those things are dead wrong. Quebecor already has everything ready in place to start a massive ticket sales campaign, to the public and businesses alike. In fact, that’s what’s important to remember right now when thinking Quebec City: We are ready. We just need the phone call."

A simple statement but quite telling.

"Daly and Bettman have changed their tone in the past few weeks, saying that a deadline is not set but that decisions will need to be made shortly. The fact is that they've acknowledged that Quebec City is right there with Seattle, KC and Las Vegas. This is, of course, a tactic to keep Phoenix's value high, but it's absurd to think that any city is as advanced as Quebec is right now. A new arena confirmed and ready by 2015. Tons of fans. Perfect owner with deep pockets. History of hockey, returning the NHL to a place it should never have left. The precedent of the Jets last year. Bettman saying again a few weeks ago that he wants to "fix errors of the past" (moving Quebec & Winnipeg), etc, etc, etc. To me, it all goes back to this; Quebec has everything ready while no other city does."

Again, a very telling statement, but one that could come from any true hockey fan in a town desperate to get their team back. Yet, it begins to build from this point on.

"The fact that Labeaume & Peladeau were dead quiet during the press conference spoke volumes. They never even used the words NHL. The used "Professional hockey." The day before, the NHL was informed by Labeaume and friends that they would hold that press conference. So it was no big surprise at the NHL office, and it is said that they appreciated that (telling them prior). To me, if you add it all up, it is clear that the NHL told Labeaume and Peladeau not to talk about the NHL because anything in that regard can hurt the current Phoenix situation in sales, among other things."

Much like how Winnipeg ownership had to remain tight-lipped prior to the return of the Jets, holding potential new owners to near silence seems to be a prominent MO for the NHL when handling matters of this nature, yet, again, the inference that silence is akin to agreement remains a far stretch.

Now it gets interesting.

From Phil Lieberman of the Glendale City Council : "The idea of giving $20 million to the new owner of the Coyotes I will never agree to. As far as I’m concerned, the Coyotes effort is over.” He noted the 12,000 average number of fans at Coyotes games does not compare to the 137,000 library cardholders in the city."

My source picks up on this, saying "Glendale won’t put another 25M$ to save the franchise for one more year. The fact is that the NHL has owned the team for 3 years now and that there is no sign that someone can turn this nightmare into success... Now that there are only a few days left in the 2012 season, how could this be turned into a winning scenario for Phoenix? The facts speak for themselves, it won’t happen. A decision will need to be made when their season is over and Quebec is the ONLY possible destination."

Adding that logic dictates Phoenix's roster could wind its way across the continent, other signs pointing to an imminent move, include reinforcing the notion that Coyotes players have been instructed to begin learning French. As revealed by Dany Dube (http://tvasports.ca/tvasports/hockey/archives/2012/03/20120327-094528.html), it would seem that some peculiar precautions are being taken on behalf of the Coyotes organization.

The same can be said for Quebec City as thoughts that Le Colisée could not handle the burden for two seasons until the new arena is complete are being internally laid to rest.

"Quebec city will upgrade the old Colisée to be NHL-Ready for September 2012 if awarded a team. We need 2 months for those modifications to the arena. So an announcement needs to be made before mid-July or so. It will cost 7M$ to do that (new air conditioning system, new boards…). More money could be invested by Peladeau himself to add more audio/video experience during the games."

The downside here, which I discussed at length with my source, is that the old Colisée will only be able to handle about 15,300 fans and does not possess the uber money-making luxury suites that put most new facilities over the top in terms of profit. That said, Winnipeg's MTS Center holds but a touch over 15,000 (attendance at the last Jets game was 15,004), leaving the Colisée with an extra 300 or so seats to make up the difference on luxury suites.

Though those seats likely won't make up that revenue, the reality is that they will certainly prove to be a greater money maker than what the Coyotes have been managing as Phoenix averages the lowest attendance in the NHL (12,254 per game, though that number seems a bit generous if you've watched enough 'Yotes games this year...).

In the meantime, should the Nordiques return as soon as next September to play in the old Colisée, fans and sponsors will have more than just NHL hockey to look forward to as "the new arena will not only meet "NHL-standards," but will be one of the best there is, right there along with Pittsburgh's Energy Consol Arena, which is by far the most advanced arena -technologically speaking and Quebec will be just as good if not better."

Finally, and perhaps most interestingly come the last two pieces of information.

"Peladeau purchased NHL-rights for broadcasting the Ottawa Senators this year on their brand new TVA Sports channel. This was the first step of being introduced to the NHL's closed circle of friends. Buying broadcasting rights the year before they buy their own team was a wise approach."

"Peladeau has been talking with the NHL for the past few years (well known) and at least 3 meetings occurred (not so well known), with one of those meetings being a full presentation on Quebecor business plan. That plan is SOLID, a dream plan for the NHL with all media platforms that Quebecor will bring its Nordiques. Cell phones, magazines, television.. His multi-platform content approach is a winner."

Dreaming of hockey in Quebec City is one thing, yet with all the momentum that is building behind the scenes and the absolute silence revolving around the Coyotes future, you have to wonder if the NHL hasn't been planning on following up their quietly successful move from Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011 with a similar journey from Phoenix to Quebec City in the summer of 2012?

The circumstances are ripe for a repeat of last summer's events. With plans for a new arena now moving forward, ready for a tenant as of September 2015 (ironically when the Isles current lease expires), there's a good chance that fans in Quebec may see the renewal of a Habs-Nordiques rivalry as soon as next season.

Exciting as that may be, my source still believes Quebec City isn't alone in trying to land an NHL team as Seattle, above Las Vegas and Kansas City, appear set to follow in QC's footsteps.

"I still don’t believe they are on par with Quebec, but we are not alone as much as I told you we were."

Admitting that healthy competition for a franchise isn't a bad thing for the potential group in Quebec City, it still comes down to the NHL's ability to save the Coyotes.

"The Coyotes will move this year ONLY IF they CAN'T be saved and there is no option."

Clearly the biggest obstacle to overcome for the NHL will be in admitting their trial in Phoenix has come to an end. Yet, above all else, that seems to be the direction this is headed in.

"If that happens, it (Phoenix) will be moved to Quebec because even though Seattle is proving a point that they can in fact have an NHL team, they are not as advanced as we are right now so we have the lead for sure."

Looking like the safe bet, the last thing keeping the wheels being set in motion for Quebec City is the biggest wild card of all;

"If the NHL finds a way to save the 'Yotes, then who knows what will happen. Seattle will have time to be almost as ready as Quebec is at the moment, although we have the advantage of knowing when our new arena will be ready."

Timing is everything and if the NHL decides to save the 'Yotes and foot the bill for another year in the desert, it won't help Quebec City all that much as the competition catches up. Yet it's hard to imagine the league, rather the owners, coughing up another $25+ million to keep the team afloat when Quebec City presents a far more soluble and immediate solution.

It's hard to say Quebec City is alone in their pursuit of an NHL team, yet they certainly seem to stand out as the front-runners.

Even if the scenario presented above doesn't play out this summer, though I do have to side with my source on this one in that the silence coupled with the internal push to take the necessary precautions to be ready in QC as soon as next September coincide quite nicely, all but assuring that NHL hockey seems destined to return to Quebec City in the near future.

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@jwmann2

Hockey should stay in cold weather cities, period.

I disagree. Hockey is my favorite sport, and I'd like to see the sport continue to grow. Although Atlanta and maybe Phoenix are failures, had they won a championship early on their owners would have likely been more successful. Winning is extremely important. What is also important in bringing teams to warmer locations there becomes a growth in youth hockey........The fans of tomorrow.

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all but assuring that NHL hockey seems destined to return to Quebec City in the near future.

I hope Quebec City gets another shot at the NHL. It's a beautiful town, suited for winter sports. But, if a Canadian city gets the next opportunity, I think it should be Hamilton. Quebec had their chance, and the fans were indifferent.

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@jwmann2

I disagree. Hockey is my favorite sport, and I'd like to see the sport continue to grow. Although Atlanta and Phoenix are failures. Had they won a championship early on their owners would have likely been more successful. Winning is extremely important. What is also important in bringing teams to warmer locations there becomes a growth in youth hockey........The fans of tomorrow.

Yup.........I think that exposure is critical to the growth of hockey. A few years ago, despite all the Canadian visitors, Florida had very few youth hockey teams. Now, almost every tournament has a team from Florida. I think that is due to the Lightning and the Panthers.

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@flyercanuck

What is also important is having teams where they should be...like Winnipeg and Quebec. Quebec gets more fans to junior A games than some of the southern teams get to NHL games.

Agreed. As I mentioned I want the sport to grow. Grow the NHL to 32 teams. There is enough talent coming forward.

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  • 3 months later...

Newbie here. All of my favorite hockey clubs are defunct. Indianapolis Racers, Indianapolis Checkers, Indianapolis Ice, and the NORDIQUES! I'm keeing my fingers crossed for a return of the Nordiques to Quebec City. The most beautiful city I've visited. We went there for our honeymoon and fell in love with the area.

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Newbie here. All of my favorite hockey clubs are defunct. Indianapolis Racers, Indianapolis Checkers, Indianapolis Ice, and the NORDIQUES! I'm keeing my fingers crossed for a return of the Nordiques to Quebec City. The most beautiful city I've visited. We went there for our honeymoon and fell in love with the area.

Welcome to the board. Enjoy your stay and come back often.

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Newbie here. All of my favorite hockey clubs are defunct. Indianapolis Racers, Indianapolis Checkers, Indianapolis Ice, and the NORDIQUES! I'm keeing my fingers crossed for a return of the Nordiques to Quebec City. The most beautiful city I've visited. We went there for our honeymoon and fell in love with the area.

@La Vielle Garde

Yeah, well you bastards took my Baltimore Colts! Ok, I won't hold that against you, welcome to the board!

I would like to see the NHL return to Quebec City too. Preferably by way of relocating one of Bettman's Sun belt franchises.

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@

Welcome, I guess you are in the position to like all the teams :P, either that or we will make a Flyers fan out of ya. Hope to see you participate in the MVP Challenge throughout the summer. The discussion and voting are located in the Fantasy Hockey Forum.

and btw, Quebec City is on my shortlist of places I want to visit most.

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Before the WHA and Racers, Nordiques came along, I was somewhat of a Sabres fan.

These days I watch games just to watch them. I somewhat like the Capitals and Sabres. I don't watch teams that are not in my time zone, as I have to get up very early each morning for work, so 7 pm games are a necessity.

Edited by La Vielle Garde
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That's one thing I've never been able to understand, Sabres fans have this long time hatred of the Flyers.....is it because of 1975? I mean it's the kind of hatred we have for the Rangers, Devils, local division rivals that we play numerous times in the regular season and have had intense playoff wars with.

Don't get me wrong, I quite enjoy the fact that so many hate the Flyers, just curious about the whole Buffalo thing....

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Yes, it is because of 1975. You hit it right on the head. I wanted Buffalo to win so bad that year, but I was just a kid.

I despise the Rangers the most, mainly because of working with guys from NY who were Rangers fans. They and a couple of Boston fans I've known are the most obnoxious people I have ever known.

I've not followed hockey for the last several years because I worked nights and did not have a dvr or anything. I have the NHL Gamecenter for the pc now, so I'm getting freshly back into it.

I find myself wanting a Philly steak and cheese for some reason......

.

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Posted · Hidden by La Vieielle Garde, July 4, 2012 - No reason given
Hidden by La Vieielle Garde, July 4, 2012 - No reason given

Ya know, when I think of it, 1975 is a long time ago. I have not been able to follow hockey for several years due to having to work 2nd and third shifts, so I've not followed any club since the late 90s.

So, unless (or until) the Nordiques return to Quebec, I guess I'm a free agent!

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Great thread, this whole Quebec has me really excited. Bring the game to where the fan bases are. I love the fact the potential owners are basically anti-Basille, they are taking instruction from the NHL even before the process is started....that's how you get noticed, playing ball with the big wigs and *not* creating unwanted problems before you're even considred. Basille proved one thing...future potential owners, don't rock the boat, it will get you ignored really quick. These guys are obviously smart and have done their homework.

The fact Yotes players have been quietly told to start learning french is very promising. The one drawback, I can some players not wanting to play there due to the wicked taxes in Quebec, which are substantially more than anywhere else. Some of my favourite memories as a young adult was the outright wars that Montreal and Quebec played in the early 80's. The Nordiques belong in the NHL, the fans are clamoring....please NHL...MAKE IT SO!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted · Hidden by La Vieielle Garde, July 31, 2012 - No reason given
Hidden by La Vieielle Garde, July 31, 2012 - No reason given

I recall now my stint with the Sabres was rather short, because shortly after that Guy Lafleur, Ken Dryden and the Canadiens came along and ABC showed them almost every Sunday in my area and I took an extreme liking to them. So the Habs, then Islanders were my main teams of interest back then. Quebec at that time was in the WHA with Indy. I've maintained some interest in Montreal over the years. I was thrilled they beat Gretzky and the Kings in 93. I have never liked Gretzky.

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