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Quebec City’s place in the debate over the Coyotes’ future is (too) small

As you’re no doubt aware, the Arizona Coyotes have been dealt a major blow by yesterday’s referendum defeat. The people involved with the Coyotes are currently devastated.

It’s understandable: this is surely the death knell for the Coyotes in Arizona.

What’s next for the franchise will be determined by our owner and the NHL in the coming weeks. – Xavier Gutierrez, Coyotes President

We suspected that the club’s future was precarious, but now it’s more precarious than ever. We don’t know what will keep the club in Tempe for the foreseeable future, and a move is fully on the cards.

Will it be this summer? Can the Coyotes still play in the home of the Sun Devils (NCAA) knowing that Arizona’s plan is currently on life support?

If the Coyotes wanted to know what the outcome of the referendum was going to be, they could have called Quebec, where referendums are historically won by the no side.

And while they’re calling Quebec, they could use the opportunity to see if Centre VidĂ©otron is available.

After all, we know there’s a lot of talk about Quebec these days, but the contrast is insane. When you see 18,000 people show up for Remparts games, it’s clear that this is a field hockey market.

But we know that Gary Bettman doesn’t see it as an NHL market. In his eyes, it’s not big enough financially to make a comeback in the NHL in 2023. So it’s not likely to happen in Quebec City.

The only scenario in which it could happen is if the NHL wanted to keep Houston as an expansion market because of NHL entry fees. But don’t hold your breath.

After all, the NHL has no expansion plans in the works, and the problem in Arizona is now, not 10 years from now.

If a short-term solution is needed, I fully expect Texas City to be the one. It’s what makes the most sense right now for the NHL.

And Kevin Weekes seems to believe it, too.

With all four teams in the conference finals being from the South (including the Dallas Stars, also in Texas), Bettman will surely see momentum to install another club there.

If not, could Kansas City be an option? Surely before Quebec City, in any case. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.

It’s a shame because Quebec City and Patrick Roy, given the Remparts’ current success, seem to have the wind in their sails as regards a potential return to the NHL.

But it’s also possible that both will never get the call. Barring a turnaround as swift as Winnipeg’s in 2011, I sadly don’t see that happening.

You know what, though?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Gary Bettman decided to give the Coyotes to Houston before still pushing for a nice arena to be built in Arizona to house Coyotes 2.0, one day, the right way.

For the NHL, last night was very bad news. After all, it means that if the Coyotes play another game in an NCAA arena, it’s going to suck.

And with good reason.


– What impact will the referendum have on Auston Matthews’ future career?

– A thought for AndrĂ© Tourigny, who is surely living with uncertainty right now.

– Did Shea Weber just miss his chance to return to Quebec?

– Ouch.

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