Saturday, January 21, 2012

Regis le constructeur

If he builds it, he knows they'll come, and if they want they can arrive even earlier if they so desire.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume is busy keeping the profile of the Quebec capital up front and in view as he continues to extol the virtues of what he believes will be a rink to rival the best of the best in the NHL.

Labeaume spoke enthusiastically about the plans for a new 400 million dollar arena in Quebec City, taking advantage of a tour of Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Centre to once again remind the NHL's owners (well at least those in markets where the interest in hockey is shall we say low,  bonjour Phoenix, Long Island et al) that Quebec City stands ready to accept the weary masses to their river shore, with the prospect of a brand new building and a hockey mad community to fill it.

The Globe and Mail reviews the Mayor's talking points from Pittsburgh through a Canadian Press story, including the Mayor's thoughts on the option that would be team relocation participants might have to play in the legendary Le Colisee (now known as the Pepsi Colisee), something that the Mayor says could be arranged as early as "tomorrow morning".

The timing for any relocation to Quebec City perhaps could not be better, the province's long time obsession Les Canadiens are simply horrible this year, meaning that unless the new arrivals from wherever they come from are truly atrocious they could already be on level ice with their newfound provincial rivals.

In fact, a Dave Stubbs item from the Montreal Gazette highlights the angst that many in Montreal are feeling over the state of the Canadiens, unless the Habs find a way to turn around what has been an abysmal situation over the last few years, a new team to support just a few hours up river might just add to some of the woes of the Montreal management at the moment.

Though that is the thing of the little picture, the big picture for Montreal and the NHL should be the competition and passion that a team in Quebec City would bring to the province, surely is more important to the game than any inconveniences that the Canadiens might receive with a rekindling of the rivalry of Quebec from the late seventies and early eighties.

The CBC offers up a small glimpse into the possibilities in their question and answer segment called Five Questions though it only actually takes up one of the five, should tide everyone over until the Mayor speaks again we would think.

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