The Quebec Nordiques joined the league as one of the four expansion teams in 1979, along with the Whalers, the Jets, and the Oilers. The name Nordiques means “Northmen” in reference to being one of the teams furthest north in all of sports. They played their home games at the Colisee de Québec (The Quebec Coliseum).
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The Nordiques enjoyed success early, with the exception of there first season when due to the merger they had to let all but three of there players go because of a dispersal draft, qualifying for the playoffs seven straight years, highlighted by there division title in 1985-1986. But all good things must come to an end and the Nordiques missed the playoffs for five years afterwards. The 90s weren’t much better for the team, despite young talents like Joe Sakic, Owen Nolan and Mats Sundin, the Nordiques made the playoffs twice, a second place finish in 92-93, only to lose to the eventual Stanley Cup winning team the Montreal Canadians, and a first place finish in 94-95, being eliminated by the defending Stanley Cup champs the New York Rangers.
In 1991 one of the most notable moments in Nordiques history happened, with the first overall pick in the draft they selected Eric Lindros. Lindros publicly stated he would not play for Quebec due to many reasons including marketability and the need to be able to speak French, but they decided to select him anyway. They were forced to trade the young superstar due to his popularity from his junior hockey career. So in 1992, they sent Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers for cash, numerous draft picks and a bunch of players including Peter Forsberg and Mike Ricci.
Why The Nordiques Relocated
During the lockout-shortened season in 1994 the Nordiques finished first in the eastern conference, only to be eliminated in the first round by the New York Rangers. Despite tremendous fan support the Nordiques had a hard time competing with the American dollar, while earning all profits in Canadian currency, players had to be paid in American and with the rising player salary this proved to be costly.
Quebec virtually speaks no English by its fan or media; it was hard to market them in such a small market such as Quebec City. When denied a bailout, team president and CEO Marcel Aubut was forced to sell the team to a group of investors from Denver.
Quebec Nordiques Notable Players
Maurice Richard COACH 1972-1973 (2 games)
J.C Tremblay D 1972-1979
Marc Tardif LW 1974-1983
Real Cloutier F 1974-1983
Rejean Houle RW 1973-1976
Peter Stastny C 1980-1990
Anton Stastny LW 1980-1989
Michel Goulet LW 1979-1990
Dale Hunter C 1980-1987
Guy Lafleur RW 1989-1991
Mats Sundin C 1990-1994
Joe Sakic C 1988-1995 (Colorado 1995-2009)
Owen Nolan RW 1990-1995
Adam Foote D 1991-1995(Colorado 1996-2004 & 2007-2010)
Eric Lindros C 1991 (0 games)
Peter Forsberg C 1994 (Colorado until 2003-2004)
Adam Deadmarsh 1994-1995(Colorado 1996-2001)
Wendall Clark LW 1994-1995
Ron Hextall G 1992-1993
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