With new rumors circulating about Quebec Premier François Legault has set requested a meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman about the possible return of the Quebec Nordiques, it raises the question of what this would mean for the NHL, Quebec City, and the Province of Quebec.
The Nordiques were relocated from Quebec City to Denver, Colorado, in May 1995 and given the new name of the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche won their first of two Stanley cups during their first season under the new name (1995-1996) with notable players such as Peter Forsberg, Owen Nolan, Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy, and Claude Lemieux. The Avalanche acquired Patrick Roy from Montreal in exchange for Andrei Kovalenko, Martin Rucinsky, and Jocelyn Thibault after Roy refused to play another game for the Canadiens.
The Return of the Nordiques
If the Nordiques were to return to the NHL, they would become the 33rd franchise and play in the Atlantic Division along with their provincial rival, the Montreal Canadiens, which would give the Canadiens another full-time rival. There are some issues with the return, the biggest one being the name seeing as it is technically a part of the Colorado Avalanche along with their jersey design. If they were to return, they would become the eighth Canadian franchise. It has also been reported that many groups are willing to invest in the return of the Nordiques or some Quebec City-based team. The team returning would revive what seems like a slowly dying hockey market in Quebec and would give for some good games versus the Canadiens.
For more on this topic, please see my colleague’s article here.