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Nordiques Fans invade Long Island NY


LesNordiques
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With apologies to the New York Islanders and the Atlanta Thrashers, the Quebec Nordiques will be the team of the night in Long Island this Saturday.

Nordiques Nation, a 70,000-member booster club, is shipping 22 busloads of fans from the provincial capital to invade Nassau Coliseum, undoubtedly giving the Islanders' home rink a decidedly French feel to it.

About 1,100 Quebecers decked out in Nordiques blue are expected in the stands in Uniondale, N.Y., for the Saturday evening tilt between the Thrashers and Islanders.

What appears an unlikely place for a Quebec Nordiques love-in is loaded with symbolism: the two teams playing have well documented financial and attendance problems.

"These are two teams that draw less than what a Nordiques franchise would draw without a doubt," said Eric Grenier, whose sports travel company, Reve Sportif, has helped organize the trip.

New York City is also home to NHL headquarters and organizers of the trip want to make a clear statement with the league.

"The message we want to send is that 'we love hockey', not 'we want to steal your team'," said Grenier, who is also a member of Nordiques Nation.

"It's a little wink towards the NHL, but we're not getting involved in a political debate here. We're just showing the NHL that we want a team."

The Islanders say they're aware of the Quebec contingent's presence, which has been noted on a number of hockey blogs and even in the New York Times.

"The Islanders noticed they'd sold 1,100 more tickets than usual, so they know we're coming," Grenier said.

Fans have purchased about 500 seats behind each net. At the 15-minute mark of each period, the fans will cheer for 30 seconds to mark the 15-year anniversary of losing the Nordiques, Grenier said.

As for embarrassing the home team, the Islanders don't have any issues with the Quebec visitors.

Grenier doesn't see why they would.

"It can't be any worse than when the (Montreal) Canadiens visit and there are 5,000 or 6,000 Habs fans in the arena," Grenier said.

Nordiques Nation was formed earlier this year by a trio of radio personalities who want see the NHL back in Quebec City.

In early October, they organized a rally -- dubbed the Blue March -- where more than 50,000 people turned up on the historic Plains of Abraham calling for a return of the Nordiques.

The road trip comes as Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume is trying to get $180 million from the federal government to help build a brand new arena he hopes can lead to the return of the NHL to the city.

The Quebec government has already committed a similar amount to the rink project, which is expected to cost at least $400 million. But Ottawa hasn't committed and might not be on board.

In Quebec, fans have been rallying around the arena issue, which NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said is essential before the NHL would consider moving back.

Labeaume has set a deadline of Dec. 21 to raise the requisite money for the rink, which would also be used to help the city bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Quebec Nordiques moved south and west in 1995 to become the Colorado Avalanche.

Ya baby!!!

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The word is that Quebec is pushing hard for a new arena so they can attract a relocated team. That'd be pretty wild if they could pull it off. I heard last night on HNIC though that they're having a hard time securing the chunk they need from the federal government.

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I am going tonight...It has been talked about a lot on the Isles message board. This date has been circled on my calendar for a while. I am bringing my Avs jersey with me tonight. A lot of Isles fans are fed up, angry, and do not want to deal with this tonight.

At least they said they are targeting Atlanta (Phoenix or Florida), not the Isles.

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At least they said they are targeting Atlanta (Phoenix or Florida), not the Isles.

no it's nothing against the Islanders... but makes sense as like in the article

"New York City is also home to NHL headquarters and organizers of the trip want to make a clear statement with the league"

"As for embarrassing the home team, the Islanders don't have any issues with the Quebec visitors"

plus NY is the easiest to travel to out of those cities....

you're going to the game? take some pics for me, I will post them on my Nords website :)

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And the Thrashers should be at the top of the relocation list. Atlanta, Phoenix and Florida should be on the chopping block at this point. I can see them going north somewhere; whether it be with a Winnipeg or a Quebec or possibly even that second Toronto team the league has been talking about in the near future.

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no it's nothing against the Islanders... but makes sense as like in the article

"New York City is also home to NHL headquarters and organizers of the trip want to make a clear statement with the league"

"As for embarrassing the home team, the Islanders don't have any issues with the Quebec visitors"

plus NY is the easiest to travel to out of those cities....

you're going to the game? take some pics for me, I will post them on my Nords website :)

Since I like you, I'll do it :lol: . I am actually sitting in an arena suite tonight (not the boxes, but the ones at the bottom of the 300s, if you have ever seen Nassau Coliseum). I should be able to get a couple of good overhead shots. :thumbsup:

The trip does makes sense. We (the reasonable Isles fans/hockey fans) all admire the fact they are busing down for 8-10 hours when Isles fans can't drive 20 minutes to go to a game.

Isles fans--as a whole--are just so upset over ownership that we cant take it anymore. All of us are furious with Charles Wang. He knows nothing about hockey and he is extremely cheap. Something like this scares the poop out of us. We don't know what is going to happen after 2015 and it is possible that they move. Isles fans are sending letters to Bettman and calling into his shows, trying to explain to him that the NHL needs to step in and try to reason with Wang (hopefully to sell the team). We are tired of being a laughing-stock of the league. Isles fans are probably one of the most passionate in the league (if you look at each team's die-hards, we definitely would rank towards the top).

It is sad that my proudest moment as an Isles fan was Game 4 of the 2002 SCQF against Toronto when Bates scored on the penalty shot. I was lucky enough to be at the game.

I have never seen the Isles win a playoff series in my life (I was 4 months when they last one a playoff series in '93).

I really do not know if the Isles can survive.

end rant

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The word is that Quebec is pushing hard for a new arena so they can attract a relocated team. That'd be pretty wild if they could pull it off. I heard last night on HNIC though that they're having a hard time securing the chunk they need from the federal government.

They wont get dime one from the Federal government. :(

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Certainly a unique way to get some press for your cause, by attending a hockey game. And while getting to do so my taking a road trip. Sign me up! :thumbsup:

As much as Quebec wants a team again, I still believe they are laughably small by pro sports standards, even if you factor in a "Canadian multiplier" based on percentage of fan interest.

I'm pretty sure Buffalo and Raleigh are the smallest US market population-wise with teams, and ithey're nearly twice the size of Quebec (and Winnipeg). The next largest, Columbus and San Jose are three times bigger.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why they never put a team in Seattle, nearly six times the size of Quebec, or Milwaukee, a natural rival with Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota.

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Isles fans--as a whole--are just so upset over ownership that we cant take it anymore. All of us are furious with Charles Wang.

Gotcha. Its not like the guy loses millions every year while owning the team, and is trying desperately to build the lighthouse project, while the local governments continue to find new ways to screw him over. Also, he can't spend money because no one shows up, yet he continues to own a losing investment for him trying to make it work. It's all his fault, gotcha.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why they never put a team in Seattle, nearly six times the size of Quebec, or Milwaukee, a natural rival with Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota.

Dont' forget Vancouver. Which would be a more natural rival. But I still want to see a team there, it may not be the best market. They don't have an NHL ready arena (wherever the Sonics played is not a viable place, just look at old Thunderbirds games.).

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Gotcha. Its not like the guy loses millions every year while owning the team, and is trying desperately to build the lighthouse project, while the local governments continue to find new ways to screw him over. Also, he can't spend money because no one shows up, yet he continues to own a losing investment for him trying to make it work. It's all his fault, gotcha.

Don't buy into that. The ONLY reason Wang bought the team in 2000 was for the land. Last year a deal was signed so that Wang gets all of the money from parking, tickets sales, and concessions. It costs $10 to park, $21 for 3 chicken fingers an order of fries and a large soft drink/water. Plus, ticket prices increased tremendously. He is recuperating his losses. Its all Wang's fault. Who else is there to blame? I don't feel sorry for Wang...he is a crook (read his Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Wang). All Isles fans will be thrilled if he sold. Also, on the LHP, Kate Murray suggested a scaled-down version. Wang wants what he wants and is not willing to compromise. His main focus should be a new or refurbished arena, not retail shops/housing.

Hypothetical question. A player gets hurt in preseason and will be out for six months. Will a team either a) put the player on long-term IR (salary does not count towards the cap and can sign/trade someone to fill in) or b ) don't put the player on IR?

Both Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit are on our roster, not the IR list.

If Wang cared about winning, he would allow Snow to sign a top-6 winger instead of relying on prospects. John Tavares needs a veteran winger, not Doug Weight.

Moreover, if the Isles didn't buy out Witt and Yashin (Yashin gets $4.5 mil this year), they would be UNDER the salary cap FLOOR. Most teams have problems staying under the cap ceiling.

Wang can not handle any sort of criticism (see: Neil Smith, Pat LaFontaine). Also, why is it that the Isles declined to renew the contract of their top scout, Ryan Jankowski? In the past, Wang was quoted as asking why the team needs scouts.

If you want, I can go further into detail about Wang, but I don't think it is necessary.

EDIT: LesNordiques, I have a couple of pictures and videos that I will be more than willing to share with you.

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Well I saw alot of photo's and looks like they weren't hard to miss,

about 95% of them wore fake china Nords jerseys

:wacko:

I saw that too...I pointed it out to my cousin's husband :thumbsup:

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