QUEBEC CITY -- A number of former Quebec Nordiques, including the Stastny brothers, Michel Goulet and Steven Finn, will join thousands of hockey fans at the Plains of Abraham Saturday to push for a return of the team that got away.
The presence of the players at the so-called Blue March is sure to swell the size of the rally, the highlight of a fan movement aimed at bringing NHL hockey back to the provincial capital.
The loudest cheers might be reserved for Goulet, the high-scoring Quebecer who recorded four consecutive 50-goal seasons for Les Bleus and thrilled fans in the city from 1979 to 1990. He told QMI this week that his days as a Nordique were the highlight of his career.
"I had my greatest moments in Quebec City," said Goulet, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. "I had 10 great years so it's important to show my support to the fans."
Slovakian scorer Peter Stastny, who played alongside Goulet for a decade in Quebec City and was inducted into the Hall of Fame the same year, says making the trip from Europe will be symbolic for fans and important to him.
"I know how big this will be for the people," Stastny said from his office in Brussels, where he serves in the European Parliament.
Aside from the former dynamic duo, other former Nordiques who plan to travel to the capital for the rally include Steve Finn, Mario Marois, Alain Cote and Pierre Lacroix.
Quebec politicians of all stripes have also said they'll be present.
The Nordiques left for Colorado 15 years ago but Pierre Karl Peladeau, CEO of Quebecor, Inc., has expressed an interest in relocating a team to Quebec City. The local and provincial governments have committed 55% of the costs of a new $400-million arena. The federal Conservatives have not yet said if they are willing to chip in the remaining 45%.
Finn, who manned the blueline for the Nordiques from 1986 until their departure in 1995, says he's more hopeful than ever the NHL will return to Quebec City.
"The economy is good, Quebec's mayor is a man of action and the provincial government has already given its financial support for a new arena," Finn told QMI. "The stars finally seem to be lining up for this to happen."
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