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Rick Bowness would like to see the return of the Quebec Nordiques
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

The desire to see the return of the Quebec Nordiques is nothing new, and even though there doesn’t seem to be any development on the file, Quebecers can dream about it.

Even though I never knew the Nordiques and grew up as a Montreal Canadiens fan, I really want to see a franchise return to Quebec City.

For one thing, the Montreal-Quebec rivalry would almost certainly return, something I and many other hockey fans would love to see.

What’s more, it would help develop revenues in Canada. We need more Canadian clubs, and we couldn’t ask for anything better than a second Quebec team.

That’s what Rick Bowness, head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, thinks about it, as you can see in this article by Benoît Rioux of Le Journal de Montréal.

As you can see from the tweet above, Rick Bowness once played in Quebec, when he wore the colors of the Quebec Remparts at junior level. At the end of his professional career, he played for the Winnipeg Jets’ school team, the Sherbrooke Jets.

Interestingly, during his penultimate season in Sherbrooke as a player in 1982-1983, he was also Sherbrooke’s head coach.

All this to say that Bowness is very familiar with Quebec.

“The more Canadian cities [in the NHL], the better, and Quebec City would obviously be a fantastic franchise.” – Rick Bowness

I totally agree with Bowness on this one. It all makes sense to me.

Last Saturday, during a press conference at the All-Star Game, Gary Bettman was asked about a possible expansion in Quebec City, but he doesn’t seem any more enthusiastic about the idea than that.

In another article by Benoît Rioux, we understand that Bettman doesn’t even dare mention Quebec City. We had to go the extra mile to get him to talk about the city.

“If we decide to do an expansion and Quebec City expresses the necessary interest to make it happen, we’ll analyze [the possibility].” – Gary Bettman

Also on Saturday, Pierre Karl Péladeau confirmed his interest in seeing the Quebec Nordiques back in the NHL.

He also confirmed that the possibility of joining forces with financial partners would be a good plan, especially considering the current market for professional sports teams.

“It’s a good idea, and it’s not an original formula: more and more, we’re seeing it given the value of franchises in all professional sports.” – Pierre Karl Péladeau

In Quebec, we all know that adding another team based in the Belle Province would be a good idea, but on the part of senior management, mainly Bettman, nothing is clear.

If the NHL commissioner’s comments are anything to go by, Quebec City doesn’t seem to be attracting as much interest as the other cities he lists (Atlanta, Houston, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Kansas City and even Omaha).

I can’t believe a city like Omaha is ahead of Quebec City in terms of adding a new NHL team.

Unfortunately, I think we’ll have to wait until Bettman leaves to see any progress on this front, because there’s no hiding it: Bettman doesn’t like Canada. At least, not more than he should.

In gusto

– What a backhanded goal from the Canadiens prospect, representing the Laval Rocket in the AHL All-Star Game.

– The latest MVP winner could miss several weeks, if not a few months.

– It’s not the first time this has happened to him.

– He was smoking during this event.

– What a dunk by the Canadian player.

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