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Gretzky: ‘Quebec City and Vegas would be viable franchises’ for NHL

06 April 2016: Former Edmonton Oiler Wayne Gretzky #99 takes part in the final ceremony celebrations closing out the final game at Rexall Place. The Farewell Rexall ceremony took place after the Vancouver Canucks game versus the Edmonton Oilers at the last ever NHL hockey game at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire)
(Curtis Comeau /Icon Sportswire)

Wayne Gretzky was on Toronto’s SiriusXMNHL on Tuesday afternoon.

On if the NHL can support an additional team or two via expansion, on if he dreams of a franchise returning to Quebec City, and on if he wants to see the league go to 31 or 32 teams overall:

“Well listen, I’ve said this before many times. I think one of the hardest commissioner jobs in all of team sports is hockey, because our commissioner has to deal with two different countries. He’s dealing with Canada and the United States, where basically the other commissioners are dealing with mostly the U.S.. In basketball and baseball there’s one team in Toronto.

“So he’s got a very difficult job, and I’m sure he’s researched this tremendously. There’s no question there’s an abundance of players, whether it’s from the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia.

“Does it water down the league a little bit? Yeah, at the beginning it probably will, but I don’t think there’s any question that we all believe that both Quebec City and Vegas would be viable franchises for the National Hockey League.

“They seem to be pointing in the direction that it’s not if it’s going to happen – the question is when it’s going to happen. That seems to be where we’re at right now.”

Source: SiriusXMNHL/Transcript: Nichols


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