Quebec Nordiques: Return To The NHL In 2017?


The Colorado Avalanche was founded as the Quebec Nordiques in 1972, before relocating to Denver in 1995. Over two decades later, the Nordiques may return as a new NHL expansion franchise.

Over the past months, there has been a lot of talk about cities the NHL could possibly expand to. It took a while for the league to announce that there are indeed such plans in the making, but eventually it became public that the NHL is aiming at expansions for the 2017-18 season at the earliest.

Las Vegas, Seattle, Toronto and Quebec City were the early favorites to join the race for an NHL franchise — or another one in Toronto’s case. In the end, it looks like Las Vegas and Quebec City are the only teams to actually submit expansion bids to the league. While there is no information about a possible team name for Las Vegas, Quebecor Inc. has officially announced that they want to bring back the Quebec Nordiques.

As we all know, the Quebec Nordiques are the original franchise that is now the Colorado Avalanche. So what does that mean for all Avs fans?

The situation is without a doubt an odd one. Assuming that the league does expand to Quebec City and the Nordiques are indeed brought back, they would have nothing to do with the Avalanche whatsoever. After all, it will be an entirely new franchise.

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There has been a very comparable situation in recent history. The original Winnipeg Jets relocated to Arizona in 1996 to become the Phoenix Coyotes (now Arizona Coyotes). Exactly 15 years later, the Atlanta Thrashers franchise got relocated to Winnipeg and is now called the Winnipeg Jets. So is there a connection between the two franchises?

At the end of the day, it is only a visual connection, as well as an emotional one. When you ask any NHL fan old enough to know about the original franchise about the team’s history, that fan will think of guys like Teemu Selanne, Phil Housley and Bobby Hull — not Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa and Dany Heatley.

It will always be the same with the new Quebec Nordiques. Their history will be the times with Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, even though it technically isn’t. If they named their new franchise, say, the Quebec Wolves (totally random name), they wouldn’t have any history. If they are the Nordiques, they technically still have zero history, but it will feel like they are the old team.

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So what does that mean for their old fans? Of course there are people that say they are fans of their local team and pick a random one — or the next-closest — if their team relocates. But there are also those Quebec Nordiques fans that kept following Sakic, Forsberg and co. Those fans are now fans of the Colorado Avalanche — so what if their original team comes back?

Needless to say, people in Quebec City will be ecstatic if they get their Nordiques back. Your hometown team simply beats everything, no matter how long you have been fan of a different team for.

However, in 2017, the Colorado Avalanche will be 22 years old. Therefore, even Nordiques fans that started following the franchise from their first game and made the conversion to the Avalanche thereafter, will have been Avalanche fans for 22 years. Not many will turn their backs on the Avs after a fandom like that.

Fans will get their beloved Quebec Nordiques back, while still having their beloved Colorado Avalanche. What could be better for ‘Nordiqualanche’ fans?

What do you think about bringing back the Quebec Nordiques? Let us know in the comments!

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