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Girard hopes to have the support of the NHL to welcome the Canadian to Quebec

Photo: Karoline Boucher The Canadian Press At the beginning of April, the NHL confirmed to Le Devoir that Finance Minister Eric Girard had discussed with Gary Bettman the hosting of NHL games at the Videotron Center in Quebec.

The Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, wishes to obtain the support of the National Hockey League (NHL) so that the Montreal Canadiens play matches in Quebec during the regular season.

Mr. Girard took stock on Wednesday of his most recent meeting with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman last week in New York.

“What I told Mr. Bettman was that I had suggested to the Montreal Canadiens that they were now coming to play regular season games in Quebec and that if the Canadiens, because they are independent, agreed to come and play the matches in Quebec, I would like the National League to support it,” he declared in a press briefing before the council of ministers.

According to the minister, the time has not yet come for the NHL to decide in favor or against its initiative with the Montreal team.

“For the moment, there is nothing to support, I informed them of my suggestion to the Montreal Canadiens,” he argued.

Last week, the NHL confirmed to Devoir that Mr. Girard discussed with Mr. Bettman about hosting games of the NHL including those of the Los Angeles Kings, next fall, at the Videotron Center.

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Return of the Nordiques

Wednesday, Mr. Girard explained that he would like to host regular season matches in Quebec after those of the Kings, who will hold their training camp in the capital from October 2 to 6 in addition to face the Bruins and the Panthers.

“It’s certain that Quebec is being talked about in the National League,” he said.

The Minister of Finance, who is responsible for encouraging the return of a team that would fill the void left by the departure of the Nordiques, also wishes to host a women's hockey world championship and a junior hockey world championship.< /p>

As for a possible return of the Nordiques, Mr. Girard objected that the file continues to progress.

“I don’t know why you say “as always in neutral”, he replied to a journalist. What we have always said is that there is an amphitheater here that was built to play major league hockey. So there will be standout games. Then we would like to have regular season games. »

The Coyotes team from Phoenix, Arizona, has for several years been a source of hope for a possible move to Quebec.

On Wednesday, however, ESPN reported information indicating that this team could be relocated to Salt Lake City as part of a reorganization.

NHL prepares for Salt Lake City

Preparations are being made behind the scenes and in the public eye in case a National League hockey team ends up in Salt Lake City sooner rather than later.

Prospective owner Ryan Smith asked people who follow him on social media earlier this week to suggest names for his club. The owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz only expressed interest in an NHL club in January, but he could have an opportunity to get one immediately.

Smith Entertainment Group then requested that an expansion process be initiated, which several groups in Atlanta also want. All of these developments come amid growing uncertainty surrounding the Arizona Coyotes, who play in a 5,000-seat arena and are still looking for a permanent home.

The plan for Smith is to use the Jazz's home, the Delta Center, as a temporary home while a dedicated hockey arena is built. The group has been discussing with the Bettman circuit since 2022.

Associated Press

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116