stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
With the new Seattle team, Quebec City gets the cold shoulder once again
space
space
By DAVID SHOALTS
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 – Page B15

TORONTO -- Pierre Karl Péladeau and thousands of hockey fans in Quebec must feel like that last, lonely wooden hockey stick left on the shelf after all those sleek, colourful composite ones have been spirited off to new homes.

Despite the fact the chief executive of media giant Quebecor has directed hundreds of millions of dollars into the hands of the NHL in pursuit of a team for Quebec City, Péladeau was once again denied when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement everyone was expecting on Tuesday. Seattle, the latest U.S. city to zip past Quebec as the shiny prize every league owner felt the NHL had to have, was awarded an expansion franchise for a mere US$650-million.

The wait for Quebec fans to see a replacement for the Nordiques, who fled south to become the Colorado Avalanche, is now in its 24th year. In pursuit of a team, expansion or otherwise, Péladeau spearheaded the construction of the $370-million Videotron Centre in Quebec City and promised Quebecor's sports television network, TVA Sports, would pay $125-million a year for 12 years for the French-language broadcast rights as part of the big contract Rogers Communications landed in 2013.

It is money the NHL happily accepts.

Péladeau's reward for all that cash was to be a wallflower at the past two expansion dances with a few vague mentions that, yes, Quebec is a fine candidate and we're still thinking about them.

Las Vegas was swept onto the dance floor in 2016 for US$500million. At the time, Bettman said Quebec's bid was not rejected, merely "deferred."

On Tuesday, Quebec fans found out deferred really means dangling indefinitely, if they didn't already realize that. When the question of Quebec came up after it was announced billionaire David Bonderman and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer landed the franchise for Seattle for the 2021-22 season, bringing the NHL to 32 teams, Bettman again was vague.

After he noted NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said recently 32 was not a magic number for the league and more expansion was possible, Bettman said, "I wouldn't disagree with that statement, but we're not looking right now and in the foreseeable future at any further expansion."

This means once again Quebec's best hope for a team is a relocated one. The next shiny object in expansion for the NHL is Europe. That will require a whole division, at least four teams, all in Europe, which leaves no room for Quebec.

All Quebec gets is lip service and excuses. Yes, there is more corporate money around than in 1995 when the Nordiques left and the Canadian dollar is in better shape, but that 800,000 metro population is still a bit small. We had to add two teams in the Western Conference to balance the east and west to 16 teams each.

But we know you have lots of rabid hockey fans with money to spend and there is a great rivalry with Montreal, so just be patient.

As for relocation, no one had better get too excited about this.

The most likely candidate right now, something that was emphasized Monday by the realignment plan to accommodate the Seattle team, remains the Arizona Coyotes.

As always, the Coyotes are not selling many tickets and their owner, Andrew Barroway, is looking for a "partner." The Coyotes will move from the Pacific Division to the Central Division to allow Seattle a spot in the Pacific.

Bettman said the Coyotes play most of the season on Mountain time, which works better in the Central Division, and the people who do go to their games seem to prefer seeing Central teams.

What Bettman did not say is that Barroway is just the latest underfinanced owner of the Coyotes and Houston, which just happens to be a good fit in the Central, is a potential new home for them. Houston also has a rich guy, Tilman Fertitta, who says he wants a hockey team to go with his Rockets NBA team.

In the Eastern Conference, the relocation candidates based on attendance are the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders, who rank 29th through 31st behind the Coyotes in average attendance.

But the Panthers may be the only real candidate here and that is years away at best.

The Hurricanes have a relatively new owner in billionaire Tom Dundon, so loss fatigue has yet to set in. The Islanders are now in position to have a new arena built closer to Long Island than their ill-advised Brooklyn adventure.

That leaves the Panthers (it is way too early to consider the Ottawa Senators). Owner Vincent Viola seems cool with writing cheques every year to cover many millions in losses. But he also has a sweetheart arena deal and the facility gets lots of nonhockey events, so that eases the pain.

So for Quebec, it's back to serving as the NHL's blackmail threat to any city reluctant to cough up a favourable arena lease or build a new one for some owner who can't sell tickets.

Associated Graphic

In pursuit of an NHL team for Quebec City, Quebecor chief executive Pierre Karle Péladeau spearheaded the construction of the $370-million Videotron Centre.

FRANCIS VACHON/THE GLOBE AND MAIL


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Hugh_Winsor Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page