When the NHL awarded Las Vegas a new expansion team beginning in the 2017-18 season, they passed on other options such as Seattle and Quebec City. Though the league’s decision to bring hockey to Vegas was a blow to the effort in Quebec, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has indicated that it’s still a goal of his to bring a team to the city.
Daly spoke with NHL.com and discussed the decision to pick Vegas and what it means for Quebec in the future:
“I think while I’m sure they (Quebec City) would have wanted the answer to be different last June, they understand the reasons that we did what we did, and we’re going to continue to work together going forward.
Daly also spoke about the need for an arena – which Quebec has – and what the biggest hurdle is preventing the city from obtaining a team.
The time those conditions were important was the time we were making those decisions. I think I would say probably the most important of those situations hasn’t resolved itself and can’t really resolve itself without a further expansion, and that’s the geographic imbalance. So I think that was a huge hurdle that this expansion application had from the start. I think we were upfront about that.”
Quebec City has an outstanding arena which could serve as a great host for a future NHL team. However, it sounds like the league is more concerned with geography than the other logistics. That’s a pretty significant obstacle which will need to be discussed and figured out before any serious talks begin.
That being said, Daly is still optimistic and hopes to eventually bring a team to the city. He just can’t say when.
“I wish I knew, I can’t give you that answer. I was actually asked at customs today whether I was coming to announce the Nordiques coming back. I said, ‘Not today.’ But hopefully at some point in my career.”
In summary, the league still wants to bring a team to Quebec which should keep fans in the city optimistic that one day they will once again have NHL hockey.