The Quebec Nordiques are trying to make a comeback. And it’s about time. As our blogger Daddy Daycare wrote about over a week ago that expansion was a given for the NHL, news broke today per CBC News that Quebecor, a Canadian media telecommunication group announced through Twitter their attempt to bring back the Nordiques is happening. The expansion fee for a new team entering the NHL is set at $500 million.
This would be such a fantastic thing for the NHL from a fan perspective. The history of the Nordiques is rich and full; from Peter Stastny, Joe Sakic, the Eric Lindros trade, three-straight 1st overall picks (Mats Sundin ’89, Owen Nolan ’90, Lindros ’91), to even Ron Tuggnutt’s (yes, his real name) 70-save performance against the Bruins in a 1991 regular-season tie. There’s just so much to like about Quebec City getting an NHL team back after having the original Nordiques move to Colorado in 1995 to become the Avalanche and eventually win two Stanley Cups.
There are still a few concerns for the NHL and Quebec that will have to be faced. The main one is the strength of the Canadian dollar not being so good right now. Which was one of the biggest reasons the original Nordiques had to leave in the first place. It couldn’t financially stay competitive against the stronger American dollar franchises. Being that the NHL is now a salary-cap league that may ease some of the issues compared to when the league used to have teams spending wildly like MLB teams can today. Also, the league is currently set at 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, and 14 in the Western Conference. If Quebec enters the NHL it’d tip the scales even more in the wrong direction, ballooning to 17 in the East. Realignment would be necessary to balance the conferences, causing issues for other franchises, and the addition of another expansion team would be necessary as well. As it stands, Las Vegas appears to be a lock to get an expansion team in the Western Conference.
It appears the NHL won’t officially be ready for expansion until the 2017-2018 season leaving plenty of time to work out the issues ahead. And this formal application filing by Quebecor to get the Nordiques back is the proper start to bringing a great market back into the NHL. But, if the Nordiques don’t plan on using the old jersey’s and logo then I take back everything I just wrote and I strongly oppose them getting an NHL franchise again.