The NHL North American ice hockey league has denied reports that it has already decided against launching an expansion franchise in Quebec City, Canada.
Radio station CKLX reported that the NHL Players’ Association had already been notified that the NHL would not be pursuing an expansion franchise in the Canadian city, which has not had a franchise since the Quebec Nordiques moved on to become the Colorado Avalanche in 1995. In August 2015, the NHL confirmed that Quebec City and Las Vegas had advanced to the third and final stage of the process to secure a team.
“We will not comment on the substance of our process, which remains ongoing,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly (pictured) said. “No final decisions have been reached and no recommendation of any kind has been made or communicated by the league office or the executive committee either to the NHL Players' Association or to the NHL Board of Governors.”
The league currently has 30 teams and reports have previously suggested that the NHL was looking to expand to 32 teams from the 2017-18 season at the earliest. Las Vegas’ new NHL-sized arena is due to open next month.
In other news, the NHL has confirmed that the Winnipeg Jets will host the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 Heritage Classic outdoor event on October 23 at Investors Group Field in the Canadian province of Manitoba. A legends game at the same 32,000-seat stadium, which is the home of the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers gridiron franchise, will take place on October 22.