Could the return of the Quebec Nordiques happen, and how would it potentially impact the Boston Bruins?
Those are a couple of interesting questions this week as news materialized that Quebec Premier Francois Legault and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman are set to sit down at some point over the coming months to discuss a potential future for the Nordiques organization. It’s an interesting situation because most traditional hockey people know, and understand, that NHL hockey would be a big success in a return to Quebec City where they have a built-in fan base and a state-of-the-art arena already ready to go.
Bettman and the NHL powers that be have been hesitant about a return to Quebec in the past as US markets like Houston sit ready and waiting for an NHL team as well. While Houston might be a bigger TV market with more potential dollars for the league, there’s some doubt about whether the state of Texas is ready to support two NHL teams.
So how does it impact the Boston Bruins?
Well, you have to wonder about the timing. Is it possible that a troubled NHL franchise like the Arizona Coyotes could be a possibility to relocate to Quebec City and kill two birds with one stone, satisfying the fans desire for a Nordiques return while finally, mercifully pulling the plug on an Arizona market that has never truly worked aside from producing Auston Matthews as a superstar talent? One has to wonder if the possibility of a Nordiques return has anything to do with Patrice Bergeron taking a wait-and-see approach to his next NHL contract.
The 36-year-old Bergeron still has something left in the tank with six goals and 13 points in 14 games with a plus-7 rating and is sitting on ten straight finalist nominations for the Selke Trophy in his Hall of Fame career. Bergeron is also a lifelong Nordiques fan that grew up rooting for guys like Joe Sakic and dreaming of someday playing for his hometown team, and that might be the only possibility that could ever lure him away from the Boston Bruins.
Bergeron has been consistent in the past saying he envisions playing AGAINST the Nordiques rather than for them, of course.
“I’m going to play for the Bruins against them, but just to be playing the Nordiques there’d be a special meaning to it,” said Bergeron, when asked about it as a possibility in the recent past. “Just the fact that I am from there, it’s my hometown. I could play in front of my family. I grew up watching the Nordiques and playing against them would be special.”
You know what would be even more special than playing against them? Finishing up a Hall of Fame career playing for a revived Nordiques team as a legend returning home and bringing the NHL team with him. Some wondered if Bergeron would ever leave the Bruins for the Montreal Canadiens in free agency if he’s unsigned, and there is zero shot of that happening in this humble hockey writer’s opinion.
In fact, it’s difficult to see any realistic scenario No. 37 plays an NHL game for anybody else aside from the Black and Gold.
But maybe, just maybe, a possibility of the Nordiques going back to Quebec City sooner rather than later is one of the things potentially holding back Bergeron from making a commitment right now to the Boston Bruins beyond this season. Leaving Boston for his Quebec City home is the only scenario that could even be a remote possibility.
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*The Boston Bruins got secondary scoring and then some in their 5-2 win over the Flyers on Saturday night that marked the first time this season they’ve been able to string together three wins in a row. (Boston Hockey Now)
*The Calgary Flames and red-hot goaltender Jakob Markstrom claimed a historic victory over the New York Islanders ahead of Sunday night’s showdown with the Bruins at TD Garden. (Calgary Hockey Now)
*Who keeps an NHL roster spot with the Vegas Golden Knights as Vegas searches for the ideal forward depth needed to threaten for a Stanley Cup. (Vegas Hockey Now)
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Kingerski takes a look at breakthrough COVID cases with the Pittsburgh Penguins and why it’s happening to NHL teams this season. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*As my partner-in-crime Jimmy Murphy wrote yesterday, Ben Chiarot is an intriguing name when it comes to addressing Boston’s potential needs on the back end. I just don’t see the Habs and Bruins coming together for a deal like that, though, unfortunately. (Montreal Hockey Now)
*Jimmy Hayes would have turned 32 years old today. Happy Birthday, Broadway…we miss you, bud.
Our brother Broadway would have been 32 today ❤️
Happy Birthday Jimmy, we all love and miss you pic.twitter.com/jU98Z9uUhb
— Missin Curfew (@MissinCurfew) November 21, 2021
*Why has Evgeni Kuznetsov been driving the Washington Capitals all season, and will it continue for the Caps? (The Athletic)
*Finally, the New York Islanders are able to come home after a crazy road odyssey to start the season. (Newsday)
*Thank goodness that Scarlett Johansson and Marvel were able to patch things up after their legal squabbles from a month or two ago. (Cosmic Book News)