Mulroney: Quebec City may have to wait for expansion team

AP
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“Even with the exchange rate, we can handle the team.”

That was Quebec City expansion backer Brian Mulroney back in September, when the Canadian dollar was valued right around where it is today, at $0.75 USD.

But here was Mulroney yesterday, speaking to FM93 radio in Quebec, per the Toronto Sun:

“Obviously, you know that with the Canadian dollar where it is, it is an extraordinary challenge not only for Quebec, but for all of Canada vis-a-vis the United States.”

Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister, now Quebecor’s chairman, didn’t actually contradict himself, since all he said in September was that the giant media company could “handle the team.” (Quebecor’s annual revenues are in the billions.)

The problem for Quebecor is that the NHL doesn’t want an expansion team that will merely survive; it wants one that will thrive, and the current state of the Canadian dollar would make that tough for a team in Quebec City.

Hence, Mulroney’s concession that Quebec City hockey fans may have to stay patient for the return of Les Nordiques.

“But,” he added, “I think we are high up on the list of important applications to remember in the future.”

Related: NHL insists ‘no final decisions’ have been made on expansion