Quebec bid says Canadian dollar will not be a factor

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the new home of the Quebec Remparts.

Hours before the Board of Governors met at a Manhattan hotel Tuesday afternoon, the league’s two expansion hopefuls met face-to-face with the NHL’s executive committee.

The Quebec City delegation was led by Quebecor President & CEO Pierre Dion and Vice-Chairman Brian Mulroney, the Canadian Prime Minister from 1984-93. They brought a copy of last night’s exhibition game at Centre Videotron between Montreal and Pittsburgh.

“They saw the excitement and the beauty of the new (arena),” Mulroney said after Quebecor’s presentation. “They saw the enthusiasm in the room, but, as Pierre says, the owners will make the decision…It is their process. We will be advised of their decision at the appropriate time.”

Dion said his group is now “in a waiting mode.”

The biggest question surrounding this bid is the Titanic-esque Canadian dollar. At current rates, the expansion fee of $500M (US) would come in around $670M (CAN).

“Even with the exchange rate, we can handle the team,” Mulroney said.

After the Quebec City group was done, Las Vegas did its presentation, led by its lead investor, Bill Foley.

“We got asked a lot of really good questions,” he said. “We had the answers to all the questions. Pretty animated. It was interesting.”

Following those conversations, the full NHL Board of Governors met at a Manhattan hotel. An update on the two bids was the lead item on the agenda, although no final decisions are expected. It’s much more likely the final decision is made at the next Governors meeting in December.

Commissioner Bettman is scheduled to meet with the media at the end of the day.

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