QUEBEC CITY ó Quebec businessman Pierre Karl Peladeau welcomed the sea of Nordiques blue that swept Quebec City on Saturday.
"What an amazing reaction," said Peladeau, who is one of the men behind the push to return the defunct team to the provincial capital.
"The response is above and beyond expectations."
Peladeau also highlighted the efforts of local resident Mario Roy, who organized the massive rally.
"Faith moves mountains," he quipped, adding that in Royís case, it moved thousands of hockey fans.
An army of Nordiques supporters gathered Saturday to send a message to the NHL and the federal government that Quebec City wanted a team again. They were joined by former hockey greats, politicians of all stripes, celebrities and Olympians.
The Quebecor CEO thinks the message will be heard loud and clear and said it motivated him to keep the negotiations with the NHL going right to the end.
The NHL has made the construction of a new arena in the provincial capital the main condition for the teamís return.
The provincial government has committed to paying 45% of the cost of the new $400-million arena and the city has promised another $50 million. Peladeau hasnít closed the door on private sector money helping fund the project.
"Weíre open to it, you have to be creative," he said.
The Harper government hasnít ruled out participating in the projectís financing but has warned the private sector would need to do its part.