Opinion: Who could relocate to Quebec?

With the rumors swirling this week when Alexandre Pratt of La Presse reported that the Premier of Quebec François Legault is once again trying to get an NHL franchise back inside the Videotron Centre, NHL fans are buzzing with curiosity. It looks like expansion won’t be the answer after the league has now gotten to 32 teams. So that brings the question, who could relocate to Quebec?

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Arizona Coyotes

Many people have thought Arizona would be relocated at this point. Averaging about12,000 fans per game, the Coyotes are struggling to get people at their home games. Arizona is currently at the beginning of a rebuild on the back of general manager Bill Armstrong. Armstrong has complied seven picks within the first two rounds and the possibility of a third first-round pick depending on the lottery protection. Also worth noting, Arizona is currently looking for a new arena to play in as their arena carousel continues. Moving the Coyotes to Quebec could give the organization some stability that it hasn’t had in quite some time while also providing the city with a young organization with a lot of draft capital to build itself into a team that can win consistently.

Florida Panthers

Florida has been a team that consistently struggles to get attendance at their game, outside of what has happened this season for the Panthers. While Florida has had a good couple of seasons recently, the question still remains. Will their fans show up to the arena? So far this season, things are looking upward, considering COVID-19 is still here to keep some fans away from arenas. Panthers games have been a beacon of the traveling hockey fan for quite some time, and if it weren’t for the away crowd, some nights would be a ghost town in Sunrise. So, where does this leave the Panthers? Ownership is solidified, and has stated before they do not want to move the team, but if they could get a lucrative deal to move to Quebec, where they could get a better gate every night, maybe ownership could be convinced.

Ottawa Senators

This may come as a shock to some, but Ottawa has been riding a roller coaster with owner Eugene Melnyk. Problems with the arena being too far away from the “downtown” area have always been a topic of conversation, and we still have yet to see progress on a new home for the Senators. While most of the Senators’ problems are currently off the ice, their team is coming into their own after a lengthy rebuild and naming Brady Tkachuk as their new captain earlier this year and surrounding him with a young & skillful core. This team is ready to compete. They are not yet a cup contender but expect them to be in the playoff hunt.

So here are my thoughts, Ottawa seems like a stretch considering it is already a Canadian team. I see the NHL wanting to expand into Canada, not shuffle teams to different provinces. Florida used to be my safe bet as the team relocated up until their rise to power in the Atlantic division. Would ownership try to capitalize on a good team creating a frenzy in a new city? Or should they hold firm and hope to bring their fans in more consistently? I’m leaning more toward them staying in FL. After all, there is no state tax. That certainly helps with free-agent recruiting. The only real option I see on the table is the Arizona Coyotes. They have been a franchise in the bottom of the league for an extended period of time, ownership hasn’t been a consistent part of their success, violations that have cost them draft picks, and the giant rebuild underway with the team. It seems to have all collided into the perfect storm. Arizona should be the team picked to relocate to Quebec.

Connor Green

Managing Editor | Inside the Rink

3 thoughts on “Opinion: Who could relocate to Quebec?

  1. People don’t want to hear it but it’s going to be the Senators.

    Arizona will get their new arena built in Tempe and even if they cannot, the NHL won’t move them from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference due to the imbalance.

    If the Yotes move, it will be to Houston; a market 6x’s the size of Quebec City.

    The Florida Panthers are not going anywhere.

    The Senators will be the team that moves now that the owner has died, left the team to his 20 year old daughters who will likely sell the team. They won’t be able to land a new arena and Quebecor will make the purchase.

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