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The Puck Stops Here

Hockey In Quebec

It seems likely that the Phoenix Coyotes will be moving at the end of the season.  They have played nearly three seasons since they went into bankruptcy and the NHL bought them.  The city of Glendale, Arizona has been subsidizing their operation and that is going to come to an end at the end of the season.  I think it is a safe assumption that they won’t be in Phoenix again next year.  The uncertainty of the situation has kept Coyote fans away at the box office.  They have the lowest attendance in the NHL.

Last season we saw the Atlanta Thrashers suddenly move to Winnipeg when the Atlanta financial situation crumbled.  It looks like the same is on the verge of happening in Phoenix.

I think the solution is a move to Quebec City.  It is the best available market for a transferring NHL team.  They are building a new NHL ready arena.

The latest news is a player on the team has reportedly been asked to learn to speak French.

We know the Phoenix situation cannot last.  We know the NHL tries to keep information of moving teams under wraps until the last possible minute.  The Quebec market is open and is acting as though it will get an NHL team.  Pieces of information are leaking out that look like there will be hockey there next year.  I am going on record now saying I think the Phoenix Coyotes will play in Quebec next season.

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Comments

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Moving the ‘yotes’ to Quebec has been the song & dance ever since the first reports of financial woes came out.

It makes more sense now more than ever because Winnipeg has to be moved from the Eastern Conference next season and to do that, a Western Conference team has to move East. Phoenix to Quebec makes it easy for all involved.

One fly in the ointment is the talk over the last few weeks about Saskatoon.  Apparently, their arena is already built and ready to go. All they need is a team to fill it.  We all know Phoenix isn’t the only team struggling financially and a move to Quebec would make the most sense but, since when has Bettman done anything that makes sense ??

Maybe Phoenix will end up in Saskatoon and the Islanders or Blues will end up in Quebec when their new arena is built.

I know, it sounds stupid, but when it comes to Bettman, anything is possible.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 03/27/12 at 07:16 PM ET

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Hmmm.  Considering that the arena in Quebec City won’t be built until 2013, that’s a curious observation.  Where will they play? 

I’d say Saskatoon has a better chance this upcoming season than Quebec City, even with their small population of 250 thousand.  A 400 million dollar Arena simply won’t be ready for next season in Quebec City. Oh, I also think they’ll get their team eventually but not next season.  Seattle or maybe Sasktoon.

Posted by Markus on 03/27/12 at 07:47 PM ET

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The irony that in Quebec where everywhere else in Canana pays for their social safety net, they can build an arena for 400 mil for a team that does not exist, and in Alberta that is largely responsible for that arena can`t build an arena in Edmonton for a team that exists and does well. Im all for Quebec having a team, but pay for your own rink, or send few million this way to pay for ours.

Posted by Smokey on 03/27/12 at 08:20 PM ET

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Stupid Albertan, can`t spell, lol

Posted by Smokey on 03/27/12 at 08:30 PM ET

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Seattle, bank on it.

Posted by Paul on 03/27/12 at 08:47 PM ET

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@Markus: They’ll play at the old Colisee until the new arena is ready. Money is already earmarked in the city budget for upgrades to the old arena if they become necessary.

San Jose played out of the Cow Palace (hockey capacity: 11,089) for two seasons before the HP Pavilion was ready. Ottawa played at the Civic Centre (hockey capacity: 10,585) for three seasons before their new rink was ready. It wouldn’t be unprecedented for Quebec to host a team in an old, undersized arena for a short, fixed amount of time.

Posted by dzuunmod on 03/27/12 at 09:57 PM ET

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@Smokey: It’s WAY overstating it to say that Alberta is “largely” responsible for building this new arena. Yes, Alberta pays out equalization payments, and yes, Quebec receives equalization payments, but those payments do not amount to anything close to half of Quebec’s budget.

Posted by dzuunmod on 03/27/12 at 09:59 PM ET

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Clearly Quebec is their destination and yes they will play in old arena for 3 years. On the other hand the Islanders will not be permitted to leave the NY metro area. Look to Brookylns new arena for the nets to be their new home. And the Blues are going no place soon. In about 4 to 5 years from now the NHL will expand by 2 teams. Gary Bettmans gift of expasion money to the owners on his way out.

Posted by Patrick Oneill from yonkers ny on 03/27/12 at 10:25 PM ET

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Didn’t Quebec have an NHL franchise before? How did that work out?

Posted by Robert on 03/28/12 at 04:04 AM ET

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@Robert: I find it kind of sad that the Nordiques, within two years of moving to Colorado, won a Stanley Cup. I guess the Cup might have stapled them to Quebec, though.

I’m not sure how Winnipeg and Quebec will work out in the long run. Sure, there’s lots of excitement now, but there is a reason those teams moved in the first place. The NHL is leaving huge, hockey-apathetic markets in the US for small, passionate markets in Canada, when the only Canadian market we’re sure can support a profit-making team in the long run is the greater Toronto area. I guess I’d rather play it safe. That, or, if you really have to move teams, explore the Minnesota-Wisconsin-Dakotas market more.

Posted by Ralph on 03/29/12 at 02:47 AM ET

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sorry but the yotes are moving to seattle!!! they dont even have to change conferances !!!

Posted by kirk from seattle,wa on 03/29/12 at 12:57 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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