Kerry Fraser: NHL should look to Quebec City before Winnipeg
QUEBEC CITY - A former NHL referee says Quebec City should have first dibs on a new hockey team.
Kerry Fraser said Quebec's provincial capital deserves to get a franchise before other cities like Winnipeg because of the legendary rivalry between the former Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens.
"I'll never forget the passion during the matches and among fans during the games between the Nordiques and the Canadiens," said the retired referee. "It was simply unique."
Fraser added teams were unlikely to last in markets without a passion for the good old hockey game.
"To survive and succeed in a city where hockey isn't part of the sports culture definitely takes a winning team," he said.
"The Nordiques played to packed houses during years of losing streaks because people there loved hockey more than anything."
Both Quebec City and Winnipeg are trying to woo NHL franchises back to their respective cities. Quebec lost the Nordiques to Colorado in 1995 and Winnipeg lost the Jets to Phoenix in 1996.