Peewees in short panties. So much fluff in November for it to end up a zoom with Gary Bettman and a release from the National League which cruelly reminds us that Quebec has no place in the National League.
It is humiliating for the people of Quebec. It is humiliating for Quebeckers. When you want to play in the big leagues, you make sure that you know the rules and that you won’t look like a kid who wants to invite himself to look big.
Do you think for a second that Minister Eric Girard, a good gentleman, has made progress on the Quebec file for a possible return of the Nordiques to the capital?
A zoom! Finish with a zoom!
I do not want to throw stones at the Honorable Girard or Prime Minister François Legault. When they launched a relaunch project to bring back the Nordiques, it was November. The restaurants were rolling, the Prime Minister was talking about meetings and parties to 20 or 25 people at Christmas and obviously he wanted a political ball to stir up the gloom before the election campaign.
Ten days later, the Omicron fell on him, he forced restaurateurs to lose a fortune on December 31, and he put an improvised curfew on his province. So you will understand that the zoom for the Nordics is not a joke. And comes at a very bad time. And then Gary Bettman went from a regular visit to his offices of Brian Mulroney, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Quebecor and former Prime Minister of Canada, to a zoom with Eric Girard.
If at least Mr. Girard had taken a plane to Avenue of Americas and had met Bettman. His office is at the back of the floor and is welcoming, it is the office of a worker, not of a fuss. The two men could have made real contact. But a zoom …
LILLEHAMMER’S MAPLE SHAFT
I have seen much worse than a zoom in the days of Omicron. Quebec City once looked much more of a village. In Lillehammer, at the ’94 Olympics, while the Americans and other candidates for the 2002 Winter Games, received the IOC members who had the right to vote in the largest restaurants and hotels in the small town, the representatives of Quebec 2002 had installed on the sidewalk in front of the building of the organizing committee, a table covered with snow on which they hardened maple taffy.
It was a folkloric gentleman with a big gray beard and a sash that had been brought in from Rigaud, who was serving the taffy. Inside, the people of Quebec were listening to André Arthur tapes who laughed at them wholeheartedly.
It is obviously a humiliation for Quebeckers. But this is not a setback for the dream of seeing the Nordics again. The resurgence of the pandemic has skewed the game.
Eric Girard is better than a zoom. But he needs to make sure that his next meeting with Gary Bettman will be that of a representative of a political state of 8.5 million people meeting with a commissioner of a sports company. Men like Bettman are smart enough to recognize the importance of political power.
But you have to know how to play the game big ones…