Hurricanes to Quebec City: Not So Fast!

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If we were to listen to people around Quebec, they would already have the Nordiques back playing starting next season. As we know however, nothing can be further from the truth. While one cannot blame fans and media for still being upset about losing their franchise to Colorado several years ago, we must keep in mind the reality of an eventual return of the NHL to the Capital City.

Everything points towards Quebec getting its franchise but for some reason, there seems to be a glitch preventing them from getting an expansion team. Many like myself think that the poor value of the Canadian dollar is a major factor at this point but there is much, much more involved preventing the league act immediately.

As it stands right now, the NHL has 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and only 14 in the Western Conference. The league’s biggest need is in the West and while it made some sense to send Winnipeg to that conference, Quebec simply can’t. As a matter of fact, when the league allocates a team to them, they will be in the same division as long time rivals, the Canadiens.

As only Quebec and Las Vegas have arenas and pre-sales of seasons’ tickets, Sin City has the advantage because they are located out west and that’s why they will be awarded the first expansion team to start activities as soon as the 2017-2018 season. The T-Mobile arena can accommodate 17,500 hockey fans in its venue and it is crucial for Gary Bettman to be the first major league sports franchise in town in order to gain a fan base immediately, before Major League Baseball or the NBA decide to look at that option. I woudn’t be shocked if an announcement was made during the upcoming playoffs.

Further, in spite of what Gary Bettman and Bill Daly are saying, the NHL wants to expand in Seattle and that would be their second highest priority. Located in the Pacific North-West, Seattle is a natural for a hockey team. It is relatively close to Canada and would, for that reason, attract some Canadian fans when their teams are playing there. Also, it would allow for a balanced league with 16 teams in each Conference. Unfortunately though, while six different groups had shown interest in bringing hockey there, none of those groups had a solid plan to build an arena on time for the deadline set by the NHL. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not working on one.

Hurricanes rumours

As rumoCentreVideotronurs swirl around the NHL, particularly in Quebec, about a possible move by the Carolina Hurricanes to Quebec, allow me to doubt those reports. While many people have spent countless hours and put in many efforts to investigate those reports to the point of going public with them, something just doesn’t seem to add up.

Think about it. How much effort has Gary Bettman and the NHL put into keeping a dying franchise in Phoenix and that, in spite of not even having a suitable owner? The league even owned the team for a few years in order to keep a team in this non-traditional hockey market so what makes people think for a minute that that same Bettman would be so quick at pulling the plug on Carolina, a hockey market who has won a Stanley Cup, a franchise which was drawing fans when winning?

It’s okay to want a team but desperation cannot overcome logic, in my opinion. Yes, the NHL will eventually return to Quebec City but it is doubtful that the league will jump the gun on Carolina too quickly. Fans and media in Quebec will have to be patient… a task harder said than done.

A Habs Easter Story

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On this Easter weekend, why not take a lighter approach to the Montreal Canadiens’ season from hell? After a promising start, the wheels fell off the wagon and at the same time, many fans fell off that same wagon. But Easter is a positive and serene time, a story of hope and a sense of optimism. Can you take it after a season of constant negativity?

You see, the Canadiens had their Saviour who, year after year, kept amazing the crowds with his miracles. Born in a small town of Anahim Lake, Carey Price was later baptised by the great Ken Dryden. He has since been teaching the NHL how a goaltender should play the game and how a silent leader can lead his team and hide its flaws. When he wasn’t multiplying the fish and wine for a constantly growing line of followers in the fan base, Price was walking on water (frozen mind you, but water none the less), healing the blind fans and sharing his words of wisdom in the Canadiens’ dressing room.

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In His absence of four months in the desert, the Canadiens’ fans have had their faith tested and while most still believe, others have chosen to take the critical approach and will deliver him to Ponce Pilot, the ultimate betrayal. For what, will you ask? For a few silver coins, better known today as Twitter endorsers, as they chose to sell their soul to popular belief instead of believing what they have witnessed in the last few years prior.

In a symbolic gesture, they prefer to see him and his preaching being crucified in the public place, questioning his word and his disciples Max, P.K., Alex, Brendan, Marc and Michel, who they perceive as evil as it is more convenient to do so since it goes against their own beliefs. The Canadiens’ playoffs hopes are dead, now officially eliminated.

Little do they know, if history has taught us jesuspriceanything, it’s that He will resurrect, He will rise from the death and He will become even more powerful than ever, leading his disciples to the Promised Land. Like Thomas, even faced with the Truth, some will refuse to admit being in the wrong and will continue finding excuses to justify their means but fortunately, most will be delivered from evil and will acclaim Carey Price and the religion that represents “La Sainte-Flanelle”, the Montreal Canadiens.

Happy Easter Habs’ fans and remember: Easter is not about the Easter Bunny. It’s about resurrection and the Canadiens will do just that.

Image credit: Ygreck and Garnotte.