Friday, December 11, 2009

Bonhomme Bettman

All that tradition, the pageantry and the celebration of 100 years of hockey in Montreal last week apparently got the better of Gary Bettman.

According to Jean Charest, the Premier of Quebec, the Commissioner was apparently quite positive when it came to discussing the future of Quebec City as once again a member of the happy (and occasionally money making) family of NHL franchises.

Mr. Charest suggests that Mr. Bettman appeared convinced of the two key things that will come up for discussion should an opening become available for the Quebec capital, the economic viability of a team in Quebec, and more importantly the prospect of finding investors.

The pumping of the NHL once again in Quebec City comes as Charest was ruminating about the need for an NHL calibre arena, which would apparently only come to be if all levels of government pony up enough money to get the new palace of ice built.

No timeline was offered from last weeks warm glow of discussion while in the consort of some of the great names of the game at Montreal's celebrations. But with over ten years havingn now passed since Les Nordiques became the Avalanche, Quebec city hockey fans still carry the dream of a team of their own, out of the shadow of the legendary Habs.

While Mr. Bettman was courting the approval of the hockey fans in Quebec City, he no doubt was leaving those fans in Winnipeg and Hamilton feeling a little out in the cold, they too believe that their cities will make fine homes for any Little orphan Gary's out there in the NHL.

Their political leaders no doubt await their chance to get the positive vibes of the Commissioner, eager to show their constituents that they too are working hard to bring the game to their community.

Seemingly now part of the cycle of trial balloons that the NHL throw up in the air to keep the northern hockey base hopeful and apparently eager to please a league that perhaps needs those northern cities more than the cities need the NHL.

Globe and Mail-- Bettman keen on Quebec: Charest
National Post-- Charest confident NHL will be back in Quebec

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