Montreal

Pierre Karl Péladeau bad news for possible Nordiques return, CAQ leader says

Coalition Avenir Quebec leader François Legault said Thursday at the National Assembly that PQ leader Pierre Karl Péladeau is an impediment to the possible return of an NHL franchise to Quebec city.

CAQ leader François Legault says NHL won't want to do business with a separatist

Pierre Karl Péladeau says he's proven he can work with the NHL, given that Quebecor struck a deal with the league even before he entered politics. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Coalition Avenir Québec leader Francois Legault said Thursday at the National Assembly that Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau is an impediment to the possible return of an NHL franchise to Quebec city.

Legault was initially being questioned by reporters about the possible return of the Montreal Expos Major League Baseball franchise, given that Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre was meeting in New York Thursday to meet with MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

But talk eventually turned to the possible return of the Quebec Nordiques to Quebec city.

Peladeau is still the majority shareholder of Quebecor, the company that has built the new Videotron Centre in Quebec City in hope of attracting an NHL franchise.

CAQ leader François Legault says Pierre Karl Péladeau's politics are a threat to the return of NHL hockey to Quebec City.
Legault told reporters that under Peladeau's leadership Quebecor made a mistake in building the arena before having assurances that the return of NHL hockey to Quebec was possible. 

"Everyone wants a team, but unfortunately Mr. Péladeau was in a difficult position for having a team, and I think there are lessons to be learned there," Legault said.

Legault went on to say that owners of other NHL teams have a veto on new franchises, and that it would be difficult for Quebecor to attract a team in the future because of Péladeau.

"The fact that Mr. Péladeau is a separatist...we know very well whether it's the owners of the team in Toronto or the owners of the Canadiens, they're not separatists and they don't want Quebec to separate," Legault said before walking away from reporters.

Péladeau optimistic 

The Quebec Nordiques played in the NHL from 1979 until 1995, when they relocated to Denver, Colo., and were renamed the Colorado Avalanche. (CBC)
Péladeau, who was travelling in Paris Thursday, said he's already proved he can work with the NHL.

He talked about a deal Quebecor struck with the NHL before he entered politics.

"Just before I left, we reached a deal with the NHL on broadcast rights in Quebec. That demonstrates the relationship is more solid than it was before, and I have string hopes there will be a professional hockey team in Quebec," Péladeau said.

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