NY Islanders News

The Quebec situation

By Gary Harding

As you may have read in the Times, or in Newsday Blogs, we will have visitors tonight.

Approximately 1,100 folks La Belle Province will be heading our way to see the Isles take on the Thrashers tonight. These folks are not basically here to root for the Islanders or Atlanta. They are representing their beautiful city of Quebec. They are here to let the NHL know that they are serious in their intentions to have a franchise return to their home. Potentially to return the name “Nordiques” to the NHL list of teams.

In speaking to Stephane Cadorette, a writer for Le Journal de Quebec newspaper, there is a feeling that the fans feel that despite the situation, the Islanders need to remain a part of the NHL, due to the history of the franchise. They feel that it is the markets that have been created to expand the game to the southern portion of the US (Atlanta, Florida, Phoenix, were examples they gave) are just not showing the passion that they feel should be warranted.

Having been to Quebec a few times to see the Islanders play there in the early 90’s, I can understand what they mean. The city embraces hockey so passionately. No matter how good or bad the Nords playe, they were getting full houses and loud buildings.

My suggestion to anyone that reads my article that is going to the game, is find anyone from the Quebec crew, shake their hand, welcome them, and thank them for their support of the Isles. I am sure they will appreciate it. If you can say it in French, please do.