Quebec City is one step closer to having its beloved Nordiques back.
Quebecor announced Friday that the NHL has retained the group’s candidacy for Phase III of the expansion process. The Quebec-based telecom giant said they will be entering the third stage with the goal of, “bring(ing) the Nordiques back to Quebec.”
The third phase, according to The Associated Press, includes reviewing the business plan for the potential expansion franchise and being given revenue projections for what would be the new Nordiques.
The same source told The Associated Press’ John Wawrow that the expansion franchise could be awarded as soon as September if all goes well for Quebecor.
It has been little more than two weeks since both Quebec City and Las Vegas were approved for the second phase of the expansion process, which included providing information about the markets in both cities. In addition, both potential expansion groups were provided additional information about the expansion process by the league.
Quebec City and Las Vegas were the only teams to submit bids to participate in the NHL’s expansion process, even though bids were expected to potentially come from groups in Seattle and the Greater Toronto Area. Both Quebecor and the Las Vegas group submitted $10 million application fees to go along with their bids, with $2 million of the application fee being non-refundable.
Update: The Las Vegas ownership group has officially announced, via their Twitter account, they have been invited to the third phase of the expansion process.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that advancing to the third phase, "means that they have satisfied requirements of this phase and get to progress to more comprehensive due diligence and additional submission requirements."
(Ed. Note: Quebecor owns the subsidiary which owns The Hockey News.)