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Éric Girard to meet Gary Bettman (again) at the end of November

About two years ago, the Quebec government announced that Minister Éric Girard, best known as Minister of Finance, would now have a new string to his bow: he would be in charge of liaising with the NHL regarding a potential return of the Quebec Nordiques.

Far from an announcement, he would become the government’s “spokesman” to maintain a line of communication between the NHL and the Quebec City market.

Since then, Minister Girard has met with Bettman on several occasions. The first was via Zoom, while the second (in May 2022) was a face-to-face meeting.

This was in the wake of Eugene Melnyk’s death, when it was rumoured that Senators games would be played in Quebec City. In the end, it didn’t happen.

Since then, we’ve heard a lot less about the relationship between the two men… but it looks like it’s about to change.

As part of his press conference today to talk about the two preparatory games that will pit the Kings against the Bruins and the Panthers in Quebec City, the Minister confirmed that he will be meeting the NHL Commissioner again at the end of the month. Once again, it will be a face-to-face meeting.

The Quebec City market will obviously be on the agenda, as the Minister says he intends to take stock of the situation in Quebec City. He wants to continue highlighting the strengths of the market, which, in his opinion, deserves hockey-related events.

As for a full-time team, however, Minister Girard points out that there is currently no window of opportunity. There’s no team on the verge of moving (unless the Coyotes end up abandoning Arizona), and there’s no real talk of NHL expansion.

That said, today’s announcement shows that the NHL is still selling the dream in Quebec City. I’m sure Gary Bettman doesn’t mind seeing the government pumping a lot of public money into attracting the NHL, although I’m sure a lot of Quebecers don’t either.

Anyway, we’ll see what comes out of this meeting, but it seems to be more of a courtesy meeting than anything else.

Here’s hoping something tangible comes of it for the Quebec City market.


– Shane Wright back in the AHL.

– The CH will have to score goals at 5-on-5.

– Still.

– Sad news.

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