While the NHL world seems focused on moving a team – any team – to Winnipeg, we thought we’d take a moment to remember the other Canadian city that lost an NHL franchise in the 90s. Fans of the Quebec Nordiques have been pretty vocal over the last year in their attempts to bring a hockey team back to Quebec City.
A group called “Nordiques Nation” decided to ‘invade’ a game between the Atlanta Thrashers and New York Islanders in Long Island on December 11th to show their support for a Quebec hockey team. They did the same thing during an April 10th game in New Jersey against the Bruins.
Nordiques fans have been very loud about supporting their relocated team over the past season, largely due to the Nordiques Nation website. The site, in French, has organized and participated in a number of events in support of bringing an NHL team to Quebec City including “La Marche Bleu,” (The Blue March) which organized Nordiques fans on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City:
There have even been attempts to build an NHL-sized arena that would house a new Quebec team. However, if the Coyotes stay in Phoenix and the Thrashers either remain in Atlanta or move to Winnipeg, what team would be coming to Quebec City? Some fans, and the Le Soleil newspaper in Quebec, have now set their sights on the Florida Panthers.
And, while we’re at it, what about Kansas City?
While Kansas City may not have the desperate and dedicated fanbase that Quebec City and Winnipeg do, it does have a beautiful, NHL-ready arena that does not currently have an NHL team or an NBA team as an anchor tenant. The Sprint Center could really use one of those.
A Google Translation of the Le Soleil article tells us that “according to the professor specializing in sports marketing from Laval University André Richelieu, several NHL teams are subject to change of address within a horizon of between three and five years.”
It lists the Coyotes, Blue Jackets and Panthers as teams that could possibly move at some point.
It looks like NHL relocation stories will be news for a while…