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01-13-2013, 02:44 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Speaking of Thibault and Quebec in particular this was maybe the biggest news in '94-'95 in Canada: two teams were leaving, moving south.
The Jets announced on May 4, 1995 that they could not find a local ownership group to take over from Barry Shenkarow, and that they would leave as soon as another owner was found and arrangements were made in another city. It was looking as though they would play in Minnesota the next year but the deal fell through and they limped along into the '95-'96 season still in Winnipeg. The stench of death followed them and Jets fans stayed away in droves, not seeing much point in supporting a team that was absolutely assured to be leaving at the end of the '96 season anyway.
The Nordiques were the top team in the East in the abbreviated regular season and despite the early playoff exit at the hands of the Rangers they looked like they had a bright future on the ice. But not in Quebec City. Less than two weeks after the Nordiques were eliminated from the playoffs it was announced that Marcel Aubut was selling the team to interests in Denver. Just like that the Nordiques were leaving.
Other Canadian teams weren't looking so hot either. The Senators were still brutal. The once mighty Oilers looked to be mired in a death spiral of their own, trading away top players and not having made the playoffs since 1992. The Flames still looked pretty good in '94-'95 (2nd in the West) but, for financial reasons, they couldn't keep key players like Joe Nieuwendyk, Joel Otto and Robert Reichel going into the '95-'96 season. Mediocrity had very quickly set in. It looked like there was a very real possibility that there would be only two or three Canadian teams in the NHL by the end of the decade, which seemed unfathomable only a couple years before.
Last edited by Hoser: 01-14-2013 at
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