Cue the memories of the old Adams Division because the Boston Bruins will play a 2024-25 preseason game in Quebec City.
While the Bruins won’t be playing the Colorado Avalanche, the descendants of their former division rivals, the Quebec Nordiques, the preseason game at the Videotron Centre on October 3, 2024, will bring back memories of those old battles with Les Nordiques. The Canadian Press was the first to report this story and the Boston Bruins then confirmed with a tweet that they will play the Kings in longtime Bruins center Patrice Bergeron’s native city.
A contest in Quebec.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 14, 2023
This will be the second time the Boston Bruins have played a preseason game in Quebec City since the Nordiques unceremoniously left for Denver, became the Colorado Avalanche for the 1995-96 season, and subsequently won the 1996 Stanley Cup. The Bruins played the Montreal Canadiens at the old Le Colisee in 2009 and then at the Videotron Centre in 2016.
The last time Videotron Centre hosted an NHL pre-season game was Sept. 20, 2018, when the Canadiens hosted the Washington Capitals. The 18,000-seat state-of-the-art arena opened in 2015 with the hopes that the NHL would return to Quebec City, but that has yet to happen. Citing the city’s still-struggling economy and lack of infrastructure to support an NHL franchise, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has passed on Quebec City numerous times. Since the Nordiques left for Denver, the NHL has had three other teams relocate and added six new teams via expansion, with the latest team being the Seattle Kraken in the 2021-22 NHL regular season.
As recently as last month, though, there have been some reports that Bettman is starting to have a change of heart. From TSN and Athletic NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun:
“You certainly got that sense from listening to Gary Bettman and looking at the body language of the NHL commissioner Wednesday at the Board of Governors meeting in New York. It felt like he came so close to just saying it’s going to happen, but he said, ‘No, we aren’t ready yet,’” LeBrun explained.
“Then he talked about the recurring interest in conversations that he’s having with those four cities … Atlanta, Houston, Salt Lake and Quebec City.”
Speaking to the media prior to the Bruins’ season opener on Oct. 11, Patrice Bergeron didn’t rule out becoming part of an ownership group to bring NHL hockey back to Quebec City.
“I mean, I was a big fan growing up. I know the impact it had on myself, my brother, and my friends. I think it. …in a way, I wish the Nordiques will come back one day,” Bergeron replied to Boston Hockey Now columnist Mick Colageo when asked if he would be interested in such a venture. “I really do. I do for the city; I do for the kids. I think it’s a great market. I can’t really answer that question at this time because it’s never even crossed my mind. I’d have to think about it, but I would be open to it for sure.”