MONTREAL – A gathering between Quebec authorities officers and the Nationwide Hockey League on Thursday produced little progress within the Legault authorities’s hope to see the NHL return to the provincial capital.
A digital assembly between Finance Minister Eric Girard and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t transfer the file ahead.
The league mentioned it was not able to reply positively to Quebec’s curiosity in a return, in response to a sequence of tweets posted by Girard after the assembly.
Girard mentioned he made clear the curiosity of the Legault authorities in seeing an NHL return and demonstrated why it might be an vital asset to the league in a gathering with Bettman and Invoice Daly, the assistant commissioner.
Each Girard and the league described their assembly as “cordial.”
“We defined that, whereas we have been appreciative and flattered by the curiosity expressed, sadly, we weren’t conscious of any alternative that might tackle that curiosity on the present time,” Bettman mentioned in an announcement.
“We recognize that the traces of communication between the events have been refreshed, and we agreed to remain in contact with one another as circumstances warrant going ahead.”
Premier Francois Legault had opened the door to dialogue with the NHL in November, professing an curiosity in seeing skilled hockey return to Quebec Metropolis and saying Girard, a senior minister in his authorities, had been tabbed to assist the hassle and dealing on it for the reason that summer time.
Girard had initially been slated to fulfill league officers in particular person, however the assembly was reworked right into a digital one because of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Followers of the Nordiques franchise have been hoping for a return of NHL for the reason that crew’s departure for Colorado following the 1995 season. The franchise received a Stanley Cup in its first 12 months in Denver.
A grassroots motion hoping for a return of a franchise started within the late 2000s and a brand new area, the Videotron Centre, was constructed to switch the ageing Colisee.
Quebec Metropolis followers have been eagerly eyeing franchises in monetary bother lately, however the league has by no means proven curiosity in returning to Quebec Metropolis.
The NHL has expanded to Las Vegas in 2017 and Seattle this season, however deferred an software for Quebec Metropolis on the identical time it welcomed the Golden Knights to the league.
The final franchise to relocate was the Atlanta Thrashers, who moved to Winnipeg in 2011. That led to the rebirth of Jets franchise, which had departed Manitoba for Arizona in 1996.