Some of Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume's opponents are accusing him of overplaying the possibility of resurrecting the Quebec Nordiques, saying it's a ploy to win more votes in the upcoming municipal election.
Quebec hockey fans are still buzzing after a meeting between Labeaume and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday over the potential return of a professional hockey franchise to the provincial capital.
Labeaume's NHL ambitions are running offside with opponents such as Langis Harvey, who is running for mayor as an independent.
"Every day we hear about him; it gets everyone talking about him," Harvey said.
Harvey said Labeaume is just trying to bring attention to himself.
Jeff Fillion, a local shock-jock radio host and an independent candidate, said Quebec hockey fans have had their hearts broken before. And he said Labeaume is playing a dangerous game if he comes up empty.
'Taking a risk now'
Labeaume said he doesn't need to bring an NHL franchise back to the city to be re-elected.
Polls suggest he's cruising towards an easy victory on Nov. 1.
"I don't need that to win the election. I would say more I'm taking a risk now," Labeaume said.
The Quebec Nordiques were moved to Denver, Colo., in 1995, ending one of the sport's great rivalries, between the Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens.
A year later, the Winnipeg Jets followed the Nordiques to the United States when they became the Phoenix Coyotes.
Hockey fans in Quebec City and Montreal have been longing for a return ever since the team left the city.
Labeaume said the one-hour meeting on Friday with the commissioner went well.
"He said he was impressed by our plans," Labeaume said.
But Labeaume said more details of those plans will be released in a "few days."
There is speculation the mayor will be making an announcement about a new multi-purpose arena for the city, something the league has said is necessary before it considers putting a team back in the capital.