Some time ago I posted some news about this, based on an interview by respected Montreal sports analyst Yvon Pedneault (Corus Sports, Hockey Night In Canada) conducted with a former member of the Nordiques organization. The suggestion was that the Nordiques are coming back, and as the interviewee said, "Sooner than you think."
Today, RDS reports that movement is gaining in strength in its article "Quebec Met Des Sieges En Vente" (Quebec starts selling seats).
Led by local businessman Mario Bedard and a Quebec-based group of investors, the push in on to sell advance seats and corporate suites to raise money to bring Le Colisee up to NHL standards. They have reportedly already sold 1500 seats priced from $1500 to $3000, and 63 of the available 70 suites.
The recent declarations of KHL chairman and Gazprom executive Aleksandr Medvedev that, in effect, Quebec City "should" have a team, in addition to Medvedev suggestions he is ready to but an NHL franchise, makes this situation all the more intriguing.
The Goverment of Quebec has already offered money to assist investors who want to buy Le Canadien, so Les Nordiques will most certainly shoot to the top of their agenda.
Would they facilitate a joint venture with Gazprom, the KHL and the Russian Government? Not out of the question.
From a marketing perspective, a revival of the Nordiques-Canadiens rivalry means big TV ratings--and potentially big dollars--in a hockey-mad environment.
There are reasons for the NHL to welcome this development. The Bedard Group has already had exploratory discussions with former Nordiques like Michel Goulet who is now part of the Colorado Avalanche executive team, so this group is clearly ready to play 'by the rules'.
If the league were to get behind the initiative, they could not only confound their critics accusing them of being 'anti-Canada', but might also have a way to thwart the threat of an anti-trust lawsuit by Jim Balsillie.
With a number of franchises potentially available--the Atlanta Thrashers being just one of those spoken of as being moveable--the return of Les Nordiques may be more than just a dream.
Your thoughts? Can it happen? Would you like to see it happen?
Last edited by davetherave on Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:12 pm; edited 3 times in total