Although no professional hockey team has played in Quebec since the Nordiques moved to Colorado and became the Colorado Avalanche in the year 1995, the people living in Canada’s largest province would be glad to know that they may not be void of professional hockey for much longer.
Quebecor, a communications based company out of Montreal, confirmed that they have submitted a bid to the National Hockey League to apply for an expansion team. In order to apply for an expansion team, Quebecor paid 10 million dollars, with 8 million refundable as part of the application process. The expansion fee is expected to be upwards of 500 million.
The deadline in order to be in the running for an expansion team ended on Monday, and the Canadian company Quebecor is the first to announce their future plans to return professional hockey to Quebec City.
As stated by Quebecor on July 20, “We confirm that we submitted our candidacy for the NHL expansion process in order to bring the Nordiques back to Quebec City”.
Although professional hockey has not been played in Quebec City for over 20 years, Quebec would be a painless place to add an expansion team. Quebecor already owns the rights to the Videotron Arena in Quebec City. This new arena will be able to seat over 18,000 people once it is built. Furthermore, the province of Quebec is full of avid hockey fans. It would not be a difficult task to fill the arena for home games, and to sell a substantial amount of season tickets.
In addition, the National Hockey League already has an existing relationship with Quebecor, which will alleviate the difficulties associated with the process of amplifying the size of the National Hockey League. Las Vegas, Seattle, and Portland are additional cities that are believed to be in the running for an expansion team of their own.
Regardless of what cities the NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman choose as being an expansion of professional hockey in the National Hockey League, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announced that “The NHL doesn’t anticipate adding any teams before the 2017-2018 season”. Although hockey fanatics are excited for the news of expansion, the prolonged process is still in it’s prefatory planning, and no deadline date is expected to be announced in the near future.