Monday, October 04, 2010
Un, deux, trois, quatre it's the return of the NHL that really matters!
Quebec City put on their version of Puckstock on the weekend, with a large rally starting at the historic Plains of Abraham that was designed to present visual evidence that a return of the NHL to Quebec's capital should be a no brainer for NHL executives.
With a look back at the glory days of Les Nordiques and stream of old players, coaches and friends of the cause, the gathered tens of thousands ( some estimates put the crowd at over 50,000 pucksters) were treated to what could have been confused as a religious revival such is the fervour that even the hint of a return of the Nords has brought to the city.
Evidence of that passion was shown for hours on a Quebec television network, Quebecor, which is also one of the key potential shareholders in any franchise options.
The rally dubbed "Le Marche Bleu" also served as a way of stirring up support for a new arena for Quebec City, a major requirement should the city seriously expect to have an opportunity to return to the NHL collective. The arena project has the support of the city's mayor and the provincial government, with both levels set to offer up their funding towards the project.
However, the federal government has found itself in a bit of a controversial situation over the prospect of any Federal investment in the quest for a new home for shinny.
Federal participation in the plan could yet take place, however, the process of attracting that funding may have to be revised before the project would be acceptable in other parts of the nation. Some of the tone of that reticence in the rest of country can be found in this National Post article.
Once the marching, singing and hopeful chants were concluded, the events for the day took to the ice of the venerable Le Colisee, where a sold out congregation watched the Montreal Canadiens defeat the New York Islanders in an exhibition game.
A temporary sample of what Quebec City's hockey fans no doubt hope will be the start of the repatriation of their hockey obsession, culminating with a return to the NHL of their much loved Nordiques.
Toronto Sun-- Why not Quebec? Stastny
Globe and Mail-- Quebec rallies to bring back NHL
Montreal Gazette-- Nordiques fans form sea of blue in capital
Toronto Sun-- Hockey passion shines through at rally
USA Today-- Quebec City rallies for another NHL team
National Post-- Rallying cry for the Nordiques