(Version 1.3, 30 December 2004. E-mail me with suggestions)
Q: What is the purpose of this
site? Do you advocate bringing the Nordiques back to Quebec City? Is the
motivation behind web site just wishful thinking on your part?
A: The purpose of this site, first and
foremost, is to preserve the history of the Quebec Nordiques. I am an American
who has never set foot in Quebec City who just happens to be a Nordiques fan.
I’m not interested in using this web site as a soapbox on NHL policies or
business practices, nor do I do this as a way to get back at Gary Bettman, the
NHL or any real or perceived conspiracy keeping professional hockey out of
Canada, small market cities, or both. While I would certainly welcome the return
of the NHL to Quebec City (as well as to Winnipeg and Hartford), I know the
chances of that are slim to none, so I don’t dwell on it. Life goes on.
I am a Colorado Avalanche fan, although
I understand why many former Nords fans – particularly in Quebec – are not.
I do not intend in any way to downplay the strong and legitimate feelings of
people who lost their teams to another city for whatever reason.
Q: Why is an American interested in
the Quebec Nordiques?
A: I’m originally from Idaho, where
until recently there was no serious hockey fan base to speak of. I became a fan
through Super Nintendo of all things. Quebec was my favorite team to play on NHL
’93, and my fascination for the team – and hockey in general – went from
Q: What does “Nordique” mean?
A: Nordique really doesn't have a good
English equivalent, but it roughly translates to “northerner.” The
igloo-shaped logo is a subtle reference to the Canadian Inuit. When the World
Hockey Association formed in 1972 the team was supposed to be in San Francisco,
but that never panned out and it was eventually sold to a group in Quebec City.
The Nordiques became an original WHA team almost as an afterthought, and were so
named because Quebec City is further north than any other original WHA city.
Q: Parlez-vous français?
Q: Do you know so-and-so who played
for the Nordiques?
A: I don’t personally know any former
Nordiques players. Over the past few years I’ve received comments like this
about the Ultimate Nords Roster, including a couple e-mails from people who
claim they know people who played for the Nordiques who aren’t listed. That
list was done several years ago based on Ralph Slate’s Internet
Hockey Database. Basically everyone who recorded statistics for the Quebec
Nordiques (i.e. actually took the ice during the regular season) is there. While
the possibility exists I may have missed someone, to date I have neither found a
legitimate omission nor do I have any reason to believe Ralph Slate’s
outstanding work on the Internet Hockey Database is incorrect in any way with
respect to the Nordiques. However, if I do find a mistake I will definitely
Q: Who were the team captains?
A: Quebec occasionally had more than one captain at a time, so dates may overlap:
1972-73 through 1974-75
Michel Parizeau 1975-76
Marc Tardif 1975-76 through 1978-79
Robbie Ftorek 1979-80 through 1981-82
Andre Dupont 1981-82 through 1982-83
Mario Marois 1983-84 through 1985-86
Peter Stastny 1985-86 through 1989-90
Steven Finn 1990-91 through 1991-92
Joe Sakic 1990-91 through 1991-92
Mike Hough 1991-92 through 1992-93
Joe Sakic 1993-94 through 1994-95
Notable Nordiques who were never team
captains (at least not in Quebec) include Serge Bernier, Rejean Houle, Michel
Goulet, Dale Hunter, Mats Sundin and Owen Nolan.
I don’t have a list of assistant
captains. If you have one from a reliable source I’d love to see it.
Q: What are Quebec’s retired
3 – J.C. Tremblay
8 – Marc Tardif
16 – Michel Goulet
26 – Peter Stastny
Stastny’s 26 was retired in February
1996 in Quebec City, after the team moved to Colorado.
Q: I heard Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin
and/or Owen Nolan wore number 88 in protest of the Eric Lindros holdout. Is that
A: Although Sakic and Nolan both wore
number 88 in their respective rookie years, Lindros had nothing to do with it.
Both wore the number before Lindros was drafted, and both immediately switched
to their preferred numbers as soon as they became available. No Nordique wore 88
after Lindros was drafted in 1991.
Sundin wore number 13 the entire time
he was in Quebec.
Q: Speaking of Eric Lindros, what
did the Nordiques get when they finally traded him?
A: After over a year of gridlock, under
arbitration on 30 June 1992 Quebec traded the rights to Eric Lindros to the
Philadelphia Flyers for forwards Peter Forsberg and Mike Ricci, goaltender Ron
Hextall, defensemen Steve Duchesne and Kerry Huffman, “future considerations”
which eventually became enforcer Chris Simon, two first-round picks and US$15
million. One of the draft picks was used by the Nordiques to select goaltender
Jocelyn Thibault, the other was traded twice and ultimately used by the
Washington Capitals to select Nolan Baumgartner. As of March 2003 here’s what
Peter Forsberg made his NHL debut in the
lockout-shortened 1995 season and immediately became an integral part of the
Nordiques offense. He continues to produce in Colorado (at
least when he’s not injured). Some have called him the best hockey player of
Mike Ricci played on the 1996 Stanley
Cup team in Colorado. He was traded early in the 1997-98 season to the San Jose
Sharks along with a second-round pick for Shean Donovan and a first-round pick
(Alex Tanguay). Ricci was still with the Sharks as of March 2003.
Ron Hextall played the 1992-93 season
in Quebec, but was traded to the New York Islanders the following summer for
goaltender Mark Fitzpatrick (who was promptly taken by the Florida Panthers in
the 1993 expansion draft, as Hextall would have been had he not been traded) and
a draft pick which became Adam Deadmarsh. Deadmarsh blossomed, played on the
1996 Stanley Cup team in Colorado, and was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles
Kings in February 2001 for defenseman Rob Blake. Hextall returned to
Philadelphia in 1994 and retired as a Flyer five years later.
Steve Duchesne played a single season
in Quebec. He was dealt to the St. Louis Blues in January 1994 for veterans Bob
Bassen, Garth Butcher and Ron Sutter, all of whom have since retired. Duchesne
himself retired in 2002 after winning the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red
Kerry Huffman, the other defenseman in
the deal, spent a season and a half in Quebec before being claimed off waivers
in January 1994 by the Ottawa Senators. Huffman remained with the Senators for a
couple years, returned very briefly to Philadelphia, then descended to the minor
leagues where he effectively retired after the 1998-99 season.
Chris Simon split his time between
Quebec and AHL Halifax before becoming a regular NHL player in 1993-94. After
winning the Cup in Colorado in 1996, he was traded to the Washington Capitals
along with Curtis Leschyshyn in exchange for Keith Jones and a 1998 first-round
draft pick (right wing Scott Parker, now an Avalanche regular). Simon finished
the 2002-03 season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Jocelyn Thibault backed up Stephane
Fiset beginning in 1993-94 and moved with the team to Colorado. He was traded to
Montreal in December 1995 along with Andrei Kovalenko and Martin Rucinsky for
Mike Keane and another goaltender you may have heard of, Patrick Roy. By the
2002-03 season Thibault was the starting goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Q: Is it true the Nordiques would have changed their uniform design had they not moved in 1995?
A: Yes. A uniform redesign was set to
go for 1995-96 had the Nordiques stayed in Quebec. The never-used wolf logo is
in the “What If?” section of the web site. The color scheme would have been
purple, teal, black and white.
Q: Will there be a Quebec Nordiques in the new World Hockey Association?
A: Probably not. The new WHA was supposed to have a team in Quebec City called the "Nordiks," but in August 2004 the league revoked the franchise, citing inadequate financing (the WHA itself was sold several weeks later). In the event the WHA eventually manages to ice a team in Quebec City - assuming it ever gets off the ground at all - it's quite likely the team will be named something else since the NHL still owns the Nordiques name and logo rights.
Q: How come Patrick Roy isn’t on
the Quebec team that won the Stanley Cup in your “What If?” story?
A: The “What If?” story is a work
of fiction, of course, but I tried to make it as realistic as possible based on
the assumption Quebec didn’t move in 1995. There’s no doubt in my mind Roy
would have had a falling out with Montreal regardless of what happened with the
Nordiques, but I’m equally sure the Canadiens would have never traded him to
their bitter archrivals no matter how bad the situation was. It would have been
like the New York Yankees trading Mickey Mantle to the Boston Red Sox, or the
Boston Celtics trading Larry Bird to the Los Angeles Lakers, simply unthinkable.
The move to Colorado (and to a different conference) effectively killed any
rivalry with Montreal, thereby making the deal possible.
Q: Do you really think Quebec
could have won the Stanley Cup in 1995-96 had they stayed?
A: Sure. The move didn’t change the
fact the Nordiques in May 1995 were one or two good players away from being a
Q: The Quebec provincial
government subsidizing the Nordiques to keep them? Come on …
A: It was considered. Of course, in
real life nothing came of it.
Q: Know any good books on the Quebec
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