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Tag: Quebec

The Unfortunate Reality For Quebec

Like most items in the news today, media outlets jump on a hot topic and give their two cents, regardless of accuracy. Rule number one, don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a good story. Fortune Magazine is the latest in a long line of platforms that believes the NHL is coming to Vegas. I do as well but it’s not based on any secret, inside information. It’s based on common sense. Hopefully not the same common sense that compelled Fortune Magazine to predict that the USFL will become a thing again. Despite what the country of Canada thinks, the reason why Las Vegas is the most attractive option is because it simply brings interest to the sport.

The year long debate over Las Vegas reminds me of the kind of hype the Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame Football, or the New York Yankees command. Love them or not, everyone is aware of their progress. Next time you’re having a casual conversation with a football fan ask them how they feel about the Dallas Cowboys and watch the passion or venom spew. No matter what side you’re on, these teams make their sport better. Make no mistake, Las Vegas will be one of those franchises that people will always have an opinion on and that’s good for business.

Do you remember when the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, or the Nashville Predators joined the league?. Yeah, neither do I. Vegas is potentially the most valuable franchise in the league. Not from a financial standpoint but from an exposure point of view.

This brings us to Quebec. I really feel badly for them because if the NHL stole our team I would have a hard time asking them for another chance. How much can one city take? The truth is the same as it always was, Quebec is in the East, they must pay their players in American dollars, there is a lack of English speaking media outlets, and they would be the smallest NHL market. These factors and common sense makes them an attractive relocation option but putting them in a $700 million dollar hole before they sell their first Molson won’t happen under Bettman’s watch.

Financial Mumbo Jumbo Indicates An NHL Team Headed To Quebec

Since the NHL closed the expansion application process Las Vegas and Quebec City have become brothers in arms each attempting to secure NHL teams. While it is possible that the NHL chooses only one city in which to expand to, it’s more than likely that if the league expands, it will do so to both cities.

So, any hockey related news coming out of Quebec is important news to us here in the desert. That is why I found this particular article so incredibly interesting.

It’s a lot to get through, but the gist of it is that Quebecor, QC’s potential ownership group has readied itself financially to take on the $500 million burden of purchasing an NHL team.

In it’s third quarter, Quebecor’s derivative financial instruments grew significantly. The corporation financial asset was recorded at a $585M value in it’s June 30, 2015 quarterly financial statements and at a $943M cost in the corporation third quarter balance sheet. – Carl Dombrowski,

Go on.

Derivative financial instruments can vary. However, one of its most common form are futures contracts. A futures contract  is an agreement between two parties for the sale of an asset at an agreed upon price. One would generally use a futures contract to hedge against risk during a particular period of time.

Ah ha. Makes perfect sense to me. This is the part I (and you) should particularly like.

We would quantify the possibility of these transactions to be closely related with the acquisition of the Nordiques 2.0 to make perfect sense on a financial perspective.

Here at we attempted to use the same logic to figure out if this is going on with The Creator’s Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC, but quickly realized that we haven’t the slightest clue what we are looking for.

It’s certainly intriguing information nonetheless about Quebec though. If the media conglomerate in Quebec had to go through the whole financial rigamarole of showing the NHL they could indeed afford and maintain a team, one would have to assume the Vegas group had to do the same.

Luckily here in Las Vegas there isn’t even the slightest concern that financials could stand in the way, but it’s still great news to see that things are going on behind the scenes while the league keeps up its patience narrative publicly.

NHL Players Unfairly Choose Which Expansion City They’d Rather Play In

Our friends at recently wrote a fine piece highlighting The National Post asking NHL’ers about expansion. I got to give it to NHL players, most pay attention to league news. So when asked what city they would rather play in (video at the bottom of this post), players seemed to favor Quebec. However, looking deeper I found some fuzzy math with their methodology. Most of the players asked were Canadian, and one of the Americans asked James van Riemsdyk, plays for the Maple Leafs.

Let’s try and break this down a little more fairly.

Van Reimsdyk is basically forced to say Quebec or the whole country will hate him. Also if you notice, Van Reimsdyk says “so I guess I’ll go with that one” not a huge endorsement for Quebec. So I’m gonna call it a wash. No goalLV 0 QC 0

Next Steven Stamkos chose Quebec over Vegas but Stevie S. has good reasons. Stamkos played Pee Wee hockey in Quebec. Anyone who played Pee Wee’s will never forget those days. Pee Wee’s in America is when checking is introduced, probably earlier in Canada. I’m convinced Canadians were born knowing how to hit. You never forget playing youth hockey and apparently Stamkos doesn’t either. Goal. LV 0 QC 1

I’m nauseous after watching Leafs Dion Phaneuf play both sides like a cheap suited politician. It’s fairly obvious that Dion is well trained by his smoking hot wife‘s PR team because he barely gave an answer. He said it would be great for both cities. Yeah we know that Mr. Cuthbert, give us a real bleeping answer! Phaneuf’s answer is so diplomatic that it doesn’t cross the goal line. No goal. 0 LV 1 QC

Okay now things get real. Nashville’s Roman Josi is neither American nor Canadian, so his answer might be the purest. When asked Josi quickly blurted out Las Vegas while wearing a huge smirk. You hear a follow up question “any reason for that?” which the Swede shakes his head and laughs. It was one of those secretive, ‘I had the best time of my life in Vegas but I can’t tell you why’ type grin. You can’t buy a grin like that in Quebec. And even our friends at would admit it. I heard Swedes like to party and Josi doesn’t look like he’s missing the net on the Strip. Goal. 1 LV 1 QC

Next is Patrice Bergeron, the one Bruin everyone can like. However, he’s from Quebec, played their growing up so… See above Steven Stamkos. Goal. 1 LV 2 QC

Here we go, now things get interesting. The Russian Vladimir Tarasenko was up next and he was wearing the same smirk as Josi. This time however when asked he blurted out Quebec and started laughing. Vladimir gave the same secretive laugh and grin as Jossi, meaning only one thing. Tarasenko also had the time of his life on the Strip but can’t tell anyone about it. I believe Tarasenko smartly chose Quebec because he couldn’t handle the Vegas. It’s an understandable reason to pick Quebec, I might not like it but… Red light. Goal. 1 LV 3 QC

Meet Joe Pavelski, the American Dion Phaneuf. The Sharks Captains answer was so wishy washy, that Hillary Clinton may hire Pavelski. I know, I’m horrible at humor. Same reasons as Phaneuf. No goal1 LV 3 QC

Lastly we have Dallas Stars Center Tyler Seguin. I thought this was an easy one based off Tyler’s reported partying. Seguin was outed by the pathetic Bruins smear campaign as an avid booze and skirt chaser. Hmmm, that kinda sounds like Las Vegas. However, knowing that his reputation was on the line, Sequin cleaned up his act in Dallas. Tyler smartly toed the party line on the question. Leaving Las Vegas empty on a last minute 6-on-5. No goal. 1 LV 3 QC

Final: Las Vegas – 1  vs. Quebec – 3

I love that The National Post asked players this question and hope they continue to do it throughout the league. Considering the partying some LA King players have done in the past, and the players that show up at the award show I think Las Vegas might get more votes. If you take out Stamkos and Bergeron, this was a much closer contest. In fact Josi and Tarasenko’s answers are the most credible which means we should be heading into 3-on-3 overtime.

Could The NHL Award Just One Expansion Franchise?

Over the history of the National Hockey League there have been three instances in which the league had an odd number of teams.

The first was in 1978 when the league contracted one franchise by merging the Cleveland Barons with the Minnesota North Stars. This left the league with a total of 17 teams. This would last just one season.

The very next year, the NHL essentially bought out the World Hockey Association. In doing so, three Canadian Teams (Oilers, Jets, Nordiques) and the Hartford Whalers (sorry Canada) were added to the NHL for a total of 21 teams. The NHL would hold firm with the odd number of teams for the next 21 years.

Finally, in 1997 the NHL announced the awarding of four NHL franchises which would bring the league from 26 to 30 teams. However, because only Nashville was ready to go the following year, the league played with 27 for one season.

So what did we learn? It is absolutely possible that the league chooses to expand to Las Vegas without awarding a franchise to Quebec (or Seattle or anyone else) However, based on the history of the league, they would certainly rather have an even number of teams. The Original Six expanded to 12, then 14, then 16 then 18. The modern NHL had 22, then 24, then 26, then essentially 30 (see above).

So, though it is possible, it’s not terribly likely that they decide to expand to Vegas without a partner.

In other words, we aren’t completely tied to Quebec, but there’s no doubt the path of least resistance is for Vegas and Quebec to come in together in 2017-18.

The Lopsided Conference Conundrum

The NHL currently sits at 30 teams with 16 in the Eastern Conference and 14 in the Western Conference. Assuming the league scoops up their $500 million a piece from Quebec and Las Vegas, they would have to cross a geographical bridge.

For those of you are who red-blooded Americans, Quebec is in Canada, more specifically, eastern Canada, Like, really really eastern Canada (it’s almost in Maine.)

In other words, the dream of putting the two new teams in the Western Conference to even them out is pretty much dead.

The obvious idea would be to move a team (cough, Columbus, cough) and even it out that way, but our friends at the San Jose Mercury News pried this gem out of Gary Bettman.

Bettman has previously said that if a 16-14 split works, he doesn’t see a reason why a 17-15 split wouldn’t.” -John Wawrow AP Hockey Writer

How very rational of you Mr. Bettman.

Yeah, why wouldn’t it work?

Ok, good. One less thing to worry about. Now I can sleep at night.

Seattle Might Get In The Way

Seattle did not step up to submit an expansion application when the deadline passed way back in July, but that does not mean the NHL does not have it’s eyes and ears on everything abuzz in the Emerald City.

The Pacific Northwest has long been a target location for the NHL, and the league was clearly disappointed by the fact that Seattle could not guarantee an arena for an NHL team. Just look at this backhanded diss from the initial expansion statement.

“Apparently, only Mr. Foley and Quebecor have the confidence in their ability to secure an arena and suitable ownership capability to move forward with this process.” –

But now there appears to be some steam to a Seattle arena, and it very well may delay the decision to award a franchise here in Vegas.

Ideally, the NHL would add Seattle and Las Vegas to even out the geographically distribution of the conferences. As long as Seattle stays focused on getting their arena built, the NHL will likely keep pushing and pushing the deadlines.

“The City of Seattle continues to do its part and we are one step closer to having an arena that is ready to host NBA basketball and NHL hockey,” says Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Back when Kansas City and Sacramento were in the mix, Seattle was likely viewed as a better candidate than Vegas, based sheerly off of size. But now with just Vegas and Quebec still vying for a team, Seattle could actually help Vegas. The only issue is when.

Here’s what we would like to see happen. Quebec and Las Vegas are awarded franchises for 2017-18. Arizona moves to Seattle in 2017 or later.

I’m convinced the NHL believes that what The Creator has done here in Las Vegas is worth a team (plus I think Bettman wants his $500 million check), but I also know that the league wants Seattle. It gets dicey if they add Quebec now and play the “we’ll figure it out later” game with Seattle.

“I have a concern if this is going to happen before 2017,” says Murray.

I have a concern too Mr. Mayor, and it’s that you are muddying the waters for us. Get it together Seattle, or get out of the way.

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