Don Cherry is one of the most well known commentators in the hockey world. Where does he think an NHL expansion franchise should go? “Quebec Nordiques all the way, it’s a no brainer.” This was reported by the Toronto Star and shows that something that started as an American fad is truly a North American fad. For twenty three years till 1995 Quebec City hosted major professional hockey. First for the WHA and then for the NHL starting in 1979. During this time the Nordiques developed a reputation for one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL and when their team was taken away we all felt the loss.
I wasn’t a huge hockey fan in 1995, but around that time I felt the same loss as I lost my beloved, although terrible, Cleveland Browns. It’s the same pain that is felt in Seattle by Sonics fans. In hockey we even have another broken hearted city as there are Hartford Whaler fans who still fight for the idea of a team returning to town.
What is it about us that we can’t stand to see these cities lose their teams? I think it’s why we watch sports. We watch for our teams, and when our teams aren’t in it anymore we root for the little guy, the underdog. There is one thing more heartbreaking than watching an underdog’s Cinderella story end with a loss to the juggernaut teams, it’s watching fans of those underdog small market teams deal with the fact that they have no more team to root for.
In 1995 some combination of economic realities and greed took the Nordiques from the people of Quebec City. I for one agree with Mr. Cherry, if expansion is to coincide with 100th birthday of the NHL let’s use that to right a wrong. Good luck Quebec City.