Gary Bettman Has Not Been An Awful Commissioner For NHL Fans In Canada

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The NHL did return to Winnipeg in 2011.

There are a number of people in Canada who probably are blaming the National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman for not delivering the Arizona Coyotes franchise to some deserving metropolitan area, say Québec City in the country. Bettman has been really quiet in the last two franchise relocations, Atlanta to Winnipeg in 2011, and the Arizona to Salt Lake City move although there was a hint during the season that Bettman was very impressed with Ryan Smith, the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Utah Jazz, who wants to make Salt Lake City a more complete major league market. Bettman seems to be smitten with the Atlanta northern suburb of Alpharetta, Georgia where an arena-village is being planned. Québec City has a long hockey history, the Québec Bulldogs franchise was an original NHL franchise starting in 1917 and lasted three years. The Québec City franchise was sold to Hamilton, Ontario interests in 1920. Most of the Hamilton franchise players ended up with the newly formed New York Americans franchise in 1925.

Québec City has a state-of-the-art arena and there could be a TV deal available but Québec City is a government town with limited corporate support. The NHL is not very interested in a market with limited loonies and passed over the market in the league’s last two expansions in favor of Las Vegas and Seattle. The NHL had a team in Québec City between 1979 and 1995 and that team was sold to Colorado interests and ended up in Denver. The reasons Québec City lost its franchise? No state-of-the-art NHL arena and there was a tremendous difference between the American and Canadian dollar. The NHL operates in American currency. Bettman has been pretty good to Canada despite what Canadian sports writers and commentators claim. He has kept teams in Canada.

Québec City

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