‘We don’t want people building a building on our account’

Speaking over the weekend in Carolina, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the question of a team for Quebec City.

“I don’t want anybody getting excited,” said Bettman. “The fact of the matter is, over the last couple of years, there have been lots of stories suggesting a building in Quebec City is a done deal, that the money has been raised. Nobody has told me that, and in the conversations that I’ve had with a variety of people, including the mayor and the premier, we have said, ‘We’re not planning on expanding, we’re not planning on relocation, so we cannot promise you a franchise.’

“If there’s a new building separate and independent from us for whatever reason and the opportunity presents itself with respect to a franchise, it’s no different than what I said about Winnipeg. But we don’t want people building a building on our account expecting that there is going to be a franchise, because we’re not in a position to promise one right now.”




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‘We don’t want people building a building on our account’

  1. Shorter Gary Bettman: "Are you kidding? I've spent my career getting teams the hell out of Canada! What makes you think I'd allow any to move back? We'll fight tooth and nail to keep empty houses in Phoenix before we entertain the idea of filling arenas in Quebec or Winnipeg!"

  2. Gary Bettman is the NHL's Stephen Harper on so many levels

  3. There's a good 'out' for Harper. "I'll build you an arena if Gary Bettman agrees to a team in Quebec City…"

    But it would be even better if Harper just flatly refused to spend on this.

  4. NBA fans in New Orleans can count themselves lucky that Bettman is no longer in charge of their league, or the financially beleaguered Hornets would be moving to Prince Albert where the potential growth in market share is huge.

  5. So once again we are operating on….and planning to spend money on….a fantasy.

  6. I think that's the first time I've ever been happy about the words coming out of Gary Bettman. Hopefully the pols are listening.

  7. Not true. Gary Bettman appears to enjoy the support of a majority of NHL owners and doesn't have to put up with any teams trying to secede from the NHL.

  8. Well, a solid majority of hockey fans despise Bettman. (the threshold for hockey fan = knowing who the commissioner is) So you could argue that Bettman is working the system so that a small minority can keep him in power.

    He did have to quell that uprising in Phoenix when the team sought to secede from the union and join the great Dominion of Canada. Final note: was not the 04-05 season prorogued?

  9. In defense of Bettman (and I was born, and will die a Winnipeg Jets fan), I think only the majority of Canadian hockey fans despise him.

  10. Stephen Harper definitely owes Gary Bettman a beer for this one.

  11. Are you kidding? Remember two years ago when Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in Detroit? The only time the boos came were when Bettman took to the ice. He brushed it off saying that the Detroit fans were just booing because Detroit lost.

    At any rate, I hope this farce ends. Bring back the Jets to Winnipeg, where they belong! Too long the NHL has been grasping at more money, instead of putting teams where they have a fan base. If you go to places like Europe and Australia, the prospect of a sports franchise is completely different. In those places, a sports team is something that brings a community together, a common ground for people to feel pride, and it is rare for any team to make an overwhelming profit. North American sports franchises are about money first, and fans second. By putting teams back in places like Winnipeg, Quebec City and Hartford, the NHL could become a thriving league with a diehard fanbase that rallies behind their franchise, regardless of a team's record.

  12. Maybe, but I'd say it's a big enough majority of Canadian hockey fans that it's a majority of ALL hockey fans as well. If 80% of Canadian hockey fans despise Bettman (admittedly, it could be higher) it occurs to me that said 80% could well represent 60% of NHL fans overall.

  13. ‘We don't want people building a building on our account'

    I thought the headline quote was particularly humorous.

    No Gary, we understand that you don't want arenas built out of the NHL's account. We're well aware that you want the money to come out of some other bank account somewhere.

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