Asked about the possibility of seeing the Ottawa Senators at the Videotron Center one day, the mayor of Quebec refuses to play the “platform manager” and relies on Minister Éric Girard, who is leading the file for the return of the NHL.
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“I don’t have a lot to say. I had not had any information, ”said first the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, on the sidelines of a press briefing on Wednesday.
Mr. Marchand explained that he was not in the secret of the gods at all and that the City did not participate in the discussions concerning the return of a team to Quebec and/or the Senators, both on a temporary basis (for a few games) than on a permanent basis.
“[Je suis] very badly placed to say that the stars are beginning to align [pour l’avenir des Sénateurs d’Ottawa]. What will successors, daughters and other owners want? What is the National League going to want? I prefer not to comment on that. I’m just a stage manager like anyone else,” he said.
The City will respond “present”
“What I can tell you is that I have confidence in Mr. Girard, in the actions he is going to take, in his skills to move the file forward. I repeat what I have always said: the day a private partner wants to bring back the Nordiques, the day there is a possibility, the City will respond. We want it but currently it is in the hands of Minister Girard who must do whatever it takes to move things forward,” reiterated the mayor.
Wouldn’t it be better to get an established franchise like the Ottawa Senators than an expansion team? asked a reporter. “Well yes, there is Thomas Chabot among others! We will see …”, joked the mayor.
“In this case, I prefer to move quietly, let the stakeholders work, not make you believe when I have no more information than you,” he insisted.
However, the mayor was delighted with the efforts that are currently being made to ensure that the two capitals – Quebec and Ottawa – jointly host the next World Junior Hockey Championship, which was initially to take place in Russia.
“That’s very good news. When I was told about this yesterday, the possibility of withdrawing the World Championship from Russia given the retaliatory measures taken by various federations… I am all in. If the City can do anything and we build with Ottawa a two-city host for the World Championship next December, I am very supportive and enthusiastic about this idea.