The Canadian dollar is still the most likely factor in determining whether Quebec City is granted an NHL expansion franchise, suggests Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Speaking on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Dean Blundell & Co. Thursday morning, Friedman said the exchange rate is still high enough to likely give the league reason to be concerned about a Quebec City franchise.
“I think if you start a Canadian team at $700 million U.S. or more, you’re just asking for them not to be successful and I understand the concern the league has with that,” Friedman said.
Quebec City and Las Vegas had both submitted bids in July 2015 to bring NHL franchises to its respective cities.
Quebecor Inc., said on March 23 that the “destination remains the same” in reference to Quebec’s provincial capital, which has been without a team since the Nordiques left for Colorado in 1995.
“That’s where I want to reassure people. But it’s true that the reality of the dollar is still there,” Quebecor Inc., CEO Pierre Dion said.
Dion admitted to reporters after a business speech that he checks the loonie’s value on a daily basis.
The dollar has bounced back somewhat in recent weeks against the American dollar, although it lost 1.04 of a U.S. cent Wednesday to close at 75.68.
Friedman said that he predicts the NHL will end up picking Las Vegas as an expansion location due to the fact that too much work has been put in otherwise.
The NHL has projected the cost of a franchise at a minimum of US$500 million and said the earliest any expansion would happen is the 2017-18 season.
— With files from The Canadian Press