With the Atlanta Thrashers’ relocation to Winnipeg just about complete, the attention of many people who hope to see more Canadian NHL teams shifted to Quebec City. It only makes sense to look there since they lost their Quebec Nordiques to Colorado much like the Winnipeg Jets jettisoned to Phoenix, after all.
Quebec City officials have been trying to get a new arena built, which would probably be the biggest obstacle in returning the NHL to the area.
The dreams of bringing back the Nordiques – or adding a differently named NHL team – took a behind the scenes setback. The Calgary Sun reports that the Quebec legislature won’t vote on whether to approve or disapprove the $400 million arena deal until the fall, a development that angered Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume.
Regis Labeaume said the bill had to be passed before Quebec’s legislature breaks for the summer or the deal between the city and Quebecor over the new building’s management would be compromised — as would the chances of getting a new NHL hockey team.
Labeaume refused to speak to reporters after Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced the postponement of the bill.
“Obviously, certain people have decided to stop Quebec City’s boom … we will continue our work relentlessly,” Labeaume said Tuesday, as part of a short statement before returning to his office.
Quebecor president and CEO, Pierre Karl Peladeau, said the delays caused by the bill’s postponement will hurt the city’s chances at getting an NHL franchise.
“In the absence of judicial security and in front of a judicial contestation,” Péladeau said, “we think that the optimal conditions of ensuring the return of an NHL hockey team are no longer united.”
We’ll need to wait and see if this non-decision simply pushes the “Pause” button on Quebec City’s dreams of landing an NHL team again or if fans should just eject their hopes entirely.