The Montreal Canadiens won’t be the only NHL team playing games in Quebec during the 2023-24 preseason.
The NHL has announced that the Los Angeles Kings and the Boston Bruins will be heading to Quebec City to participate in two preseason games at the Centre Videotron.
Quebec City was hoping to attract an NHL team when they opened the 18,259-seat arena in 2015, but the NHL has shown little to no interest when it comes to expansion up north. Cities like Houston, Salt Lake City, and even Atlanta are considered to be ahead of Quebec City when it comes to potential expansions.
“I know there’s been constant speculation about that,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman the last time he was asked about a second team in Quebec. “We’re not in an expansion mode,” he explained.
Given his vague answers, Quebec Nordiques fans should not expect their team to return any time soon, though it would surely renew one of the best rivalries in the NHL between themselves and the Canadiens.
Expensive Exhibition Games
Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson has publicly said that he would not stand in the way of a potential expansion in Quebec, however, the Habs will not participate in any of the festivities taking place in Quebec City.
It’s also worth noting that the city will pay between $5 million and $7 million for the privilege of having a pair of preseason hockey games hosted at the Centre Videotron.
Politicians will claim it’s a smart investment, but given the current economic climate, there’s little chance their empty rhetoric will fly with taxpayers.
Of course, events such as preseason games can bring in a certain amount of money from citizens, the same citizens that subsidized the original investment, but no proof in existence would suggest a week-long event with two preseason games will cover the cost of hosting.
The Centre Videaotron is officially owned and operated by the city, however, they work closely with Quebecor, the same company that just cut over one-third of its employees in a recent financial re-organization.