Oh dear! Somebody is getting really desperate on the last day before an election. Johnny Charest– reputation for being a great campaigner and debater, has really gotten feeble. Yes, boys ‘n’ girls, he really did say that. Uh Johnny, we never had them! At least, not since they went off to Denver. How could you lose something you never had? It’s also not likely that the Nordiques are coming back neither. No expansion is planned at this time. Even if the Phoenix Coyotes end up being sold and relocated, there is no guarantee that they will relocate to Quebec City. Gary Bettman doesn’t seem to be gung-ho over that idea and with good reason. Let’s remember why the Nordiques left in the first place. There is every indication that these very same problems still exist to this day.
Quebec City was the smallest market in the NHL, and the second-smallest major-league city in North America, behind only Green Bay, Wisconsin, home to the National Football League‘s Green Bay Packers. However, the Nordiques didn’t have a nearby major market on which to draw support, as the Packers do with Milwaukee. Additionally, Quebec City is a virtually monolingual francophone city. Unlike in Montreal and Ottawa (the other NHL cities with large francophone fan bases), all public address announcements were only given in French. Then as now, there were no privately-owned English-language radio stations, and only one privately-owned English language television station. Then as now, the only English-language newspaper was the weekly Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. These factors severely limited the Nordiques’ marketability even in their best years, and made many non-French players (most notably Lindros) wary of playing for them. While the Nordiques had a fairly loyal fan base, it was not enough for them to be viable in the new environment.
The old Colisee where the Nordiques used to play was only a small part of the problem. This is why I have been angry at the provincial government for coughing 200M$ (it will likely cost more) for this white elephant to make Peladeau jr happy. They have 200M$ for this white elephant for a non-existent hockey team, but cry poverty as they cut health care, social services and education. Sooo not impressed!
The other thing is that if polls are to be believed, Franky Legault and CAQ are likely to take the Quebec City area ridings. I wonder if Franky would cancel the arena construction? After all, he is running on a platform that indicates that he would be more careful with money. I also wonder if those fiscal conservatives in the Quebec City area really are gung-ho over government dollars building an arena for a non-existent hockey team and yet another building Peladeau Junior could slap his name on. We didn’t hear one way or the other if a potential CAQ government would build this arena on tax dollars. Oh yeah! Johnny has an ‘explanation’ for that too–another desperately feeble one.
“People who are thinking of voting for the CAQ and for Mr. Legault objectively will be indirectly supporting Mme. Marois and a referendum, and that’s not what they want,” he said.
So Johnny is portraying himself as the only one who will save the non-existent Nordiques! I wonder if his imaginary friends have also abandoned him?
It doesn’t really matter who’s leading government as far as that white elephant of an arena is concerned. All this to say that long before this election was called, chances of the return of the Nordiques were already pretty bleak. It doesn’t matter whether or not Premier Johnny somehow wins re election, the situation remains the same as far as the NHL, Gary Bettman and whether or not the Nordiques return.