It's such a great day for everyone who dreams of the return of the Nordiques in Quebec, like myself.
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I have been dreaming about this for so long and now, its unreal to take a moment and realize that a new NHL-ready arena will be built and delivered during the 2015 summer.
The "Assemblée nationale" voted for Bill 204 today, which means that it secures the deal between the city of Quebec and Quebecor for the management rights of the arena.
It was an important step that could've been avoided if it were not for an individual, Denis De Belleval, who was general manager of the city when the Nordiques were sold to interests in Denver, and eventually moved. With this bill being adopted, let's say that his campaign against the project is pretty much nullified.
What's next? Well, it is now up to Peladeau and his team to build a case for themselves with Bettman and the board of governors. But let's be honest, with an 18,000 seats brand new arena ready for 2015, Quebec instantly becomes very attractive for the NHL.
We've got the fans, no doubt. We've got a great, long-term owner who is financially very stable. And last, we will have an arena.
We'll need to be patient and use Winnipeg as a role model. Their approach was perfect, respectful of the NHL and this is how it will be done by Quebecor, no doubt.
Who could move? There are several cities having problems with their team in southern US as everyone knows. Florida, Phoenix and the Islanders are three teams with different problems, almost impossible to overcome.
The Colisée Pepsi will need a little bit of work on it in order to be viable for the NHL but for 2 or 3 seasons at the most, it should be ok, as Bettman already stated before.
So here we are, waiving or white and blue flag, saying "we're ready"!
My prediction: The NHL will be back in Quebec City for the season 2012-2013 or 2013-2014 at the latest.
Peladeau's comments through communiqué:
«The popuplation of Quebec and all hockey fans can now count on us and our determination in our efforts with the National Hockey League in bringing the NHL back in Quebec. The ball is in our hands, it's our turn to play."
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