Would Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson ever sign off on the NHL permanently returning to Quebec City?
With NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly already confirming a March report that the NHL and Ottawa Senators were discussing the potential of the Senators playing up to five games at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City during the 2022-23 season, there was plenty of chatter amongst fans and media again about Quebec City finally being awarded an NHL team again. As it always has though since the state-of-the-art 18,259-seat arena replaced Colisée Pepsi as Quebec City’s primary venue for indoor events, the talk was shot down by NHL sources. Well, in recent days the ‘Bring back The Nordiques’ buzz has picked up again thanks to Daly confirming a Radio Canada report that Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard met with Gary Bettman and Bill Daly for about 45 minutes this past Thursday at the NHL offices in New York City.
Girard, who was also in New York City to try and lure some American investors, met with Daly and Bettman virtually back in January to discuss the potential of Quebec City getting an NHL team for the first time since the Nordiques left for Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche after the 1995 season. Girard called it a courtesy visit regarding the ‘Quebec File’ but with the developments in March, speculation is running rampant that he ramped up pressure again to find a way for the NHL fans in Quebec City to have an NHL team again. If the Senators do indeed play there and sell the arena out for each game who knows right?
Sadly for now though, the talk is just that, talk. However, if it became more than just talk and gained steam, would Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson stop any NHL hockey back to Quebec project in its tracks or accelerate it? When Molson and his brothers bought the Montreal Canadiens back in 2009, they the territorial rights of the entire province of Quebec. Any project to add another NHL team back to the province has to be approved by the Molson’s and a deal must be in place to either pay them a territorial tax or outright buy and own the rights.
So the pipe dream that is the return of the one of the best rivalries in NHL history, Montreal Canadiens-Quebec Nordiques, hinges on the Molson’s should it ever approach reality. The best NHL Betting odds on that happening are slim to none right now, but here’s hoping Molson doesn’t do anything to keep it that way.