Quebec province claims they'd cover 45 percent of construction costs for new arena

Thumbnail image for nordiquesvsjets.jpgWho knows if the province of Quebec can actually land another NHL team, but their politicians certainly seem like they’re doing their best to make it happen.

We’ve been all over this rumor-laden story so far and while it’s far from a done deal that they’ll build a new arena – let alone add an existing or expansion NHL team – recent reports give reason to at least discuss the possibility. Marianne White of The Montreal Gazette reports that Quebec City will cover 45 percent of the estimated $400 million it would cost to build a new arena.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest detailed some of the plans and what would need to happen for the remaining 55 percent to be covered.

Charest said the province is going ahead with the project even though there’s no guarantee of either the return of an NHL franchise or an eventual Winter Olympics bid.

“Let’s do it and if it helps to obtain a hockey team, so be it, if it helps us obtain the Winter Olympics, so be it,” Charest said.

The city would put in $50 million.

With the province’s commitment, Charest is turning up the pressure on the federal government to come up with the remaining 45 per cent – an estimated $175 million – needed to build the arena.

Labeaume and Charest both said Tuesday Ottawa needs to pledge the funds for the arena “as soon as possible.”

Read the original article for more details about the planners’ estimates of how much money this arena would earn with (or without) a hockey team. Naturally, there can often be a big gulf between estimates and actual profits, but it would be wise for planners to assume the worst (i.e. that they might not be able to attract an NHL team).

No doubt about it, though, it would be quite refreshing to see Canada gain an NHL team for a change. I mean, that’s what Jim Balsillie wanted the whole time, right?

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    Uh oh, Marian Hossa might be injured after awkward fall

    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa, left, talks to center Jonathan Toews during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
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    The Chicago Blackhawks are on edge on Saturday, and it’s not because of what’s currently a close game against the Anaheim Ducks.

    (Not that they’re indifferent toward a match against their opponents from last year’s conference final match, mind you.)

    Instead, the Blackhawks are quite concerned about the health of Marian Hossa, who needed help off of the ice following an awkward, scary-looking crash into the boards. (Hampus Lindholm delivered the hip check that sent Hossa sprawling, in case you’re wondering.)

    Video isn’t yet available, but My Regular Face’s GIF captures that troubling moment:

    It’s too early to tell if Hossa will bounce back or miss some time from this. Stay tuned for potential updates.

    Understatement: Saturday was a rough night for Panthers

    Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson (33) checks Florida Panthers center Jonathan Huberdeau (11) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
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    If it weren’t for Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild, you could argue that the Florida Panthers suffered from the worst night so far.

    You can see that Saturday was unpleasant merely from looking at the scoreboard: the Nashville Predators pummeled the Panthers by an unkind score of 5-0.

    The pain goes beyond that … literally so.

    For one thing, Quinton Howden suffered an upper-body injury and did not return. That’s no good, but if you want to feel sick to your stomach, footage of Brandon Pirri‘s likely lower-body injury (ankle maybe?) may do the trick.

    (Seriously, you may be happier if you don’t look.)

    The Panthers didn’t make an announcement about Pirri one way or another, so we’ll see if he somehow avoided anything significant.

    Either way, it was a night this team would like to forget.

    Fractured jaw from fight sidelines Chris Stewart for 4-8 weeks

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    It’s unlikely that Chris Stewart will generate another 30-goal season in the NHL, but he still might be missed by the Anaheim Ducks.

    The team announced that the ornery forward is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks with a fractured jaw. If that’s the recovery window, Stewart may go into the playoffs a little rusty (if he can get in any regular season games at all).

    The Ducks didn’t elaborate, but the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline believes that the injury happened during a fight with Dalton Prout of the Columbus Blue Jackets. You can see that brawl in the video above.

    One bright side for Anaheim: if they believe that they need to replace what Stewart brings to the table (rugged play with a dash of offense), then at least this injury happened before the the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

    Report: Wild will tab John Torchetti as interim head coach

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    As many expected, the Minnesota Wild will make John Torchetti their interim head coach, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

    (He’s not the only one to report as much, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie also stated that he’s likely to take the job.)

    The team itself hasn’t made an official announcement about Torchetti, and the reasoning is probably simple enough: he’s coaching their AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild on Saturday night.

    Torchetti is no stranger to the NHL, although he’ll probably be frustrated if this opportunity doesn’t turn into a full-time gig. He was also an interim head coach for the Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers.

    As of this writing, the Wild are in a three-way tie for the first spot outside of the West’s wild card mix, although they could sink a bit depending upon how Arizona and Vancouver handle the one game they have in hand on the Wild.

    More importantly, Minnesota’s currently three points behind Nashville for the final wild card spot.

    That’s not an impossible goal for Torchetti. For whatever it’s worth, Sports Club Stats gives Minnesota a 34.7 percent chance to make the playoffs.

    (Note: photo via the Iowa Wild.)