Quebec Nordiques Will Never Rejoin the NHL

Published August 28, 2021 at 9:37

Fans of the Montreal Canadiens can recall fondly when their biggest opponent lived in the same province.

The Quebec Nordiques joined the NHL in 1979 after the WHA folded, and moved to Denver in 1995. But those 16 years with an NHL team in Quebec City stayed with hockey enthusiasts in La Belle Province.

In 1982, the Nordiques shocked the Canadiens by winning a playoff series.

It wasn't the longest rivalry in sports history, but it was the most memorable for many Quebec hockey fans.

When we heard that the city of Glendale and the Arizona Coyotes were at odds over a leasing arrangement, we imagined Dale Hunter and Chris Nolan fighting. Is the rivalry back?

Glendale's lease with the NHL franchise expires in a year. Simply told, the Coyotes lack a home for the 2022-23 season. Not yet.

Many of us wanted the Coyotes to leave Arizona and go to Winnipeg, but that isn't going to happen.

It doesn't mean they can't reach a new arrangement just because Glendale says it will end its lease with the Coyotes after this season. It also doesn't preclude the Coyotes from moving closer to Phoenix, despite their previous location.

We may hear about a deal between the Coyotes and the Phoenix Suns' Footprint Center.

Also, as NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman has saved struggling teams in non-traditional hockey markets. His main ambition since 1993 has been to spread the game across North America and establish clubs in cities that aren't hockey hotbeds.

Bettman chose Vegas and Seattle over Kansas City and Quebec. Until the Golden Knights arrived, Vegas wasn't a hockey town.

Quebec City loves hockey. On average, the Videotron Center sells over 10,000 tickets per game. The Mooseheads and Wildcats were exceptions.

The NHL's return to Quebec City was inevitable. Instead of a proven hockey town, Bettman prioritized Arizona, Vegas, Seattle, and Carolina.

So don't anticipate Bettman's mind to alter quickly. It was close to $2.5 billion over ten years. As a result, don't expect any of those teams to relocate to Quebec.

Somewhere in Texas or Oregon, if the Coyotes depart Arizona. Choose a big city without an NHL team on a US map.

So don't expect anyone to relocate to Quebec and revive one of the biggest rivalries in NHL history any time soon.

Credit: AWH
August 28   |   102 answers
Quebec Nordiques Will Never Rejoin the NHL

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