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50 years of the Nordic and AMH celebrated

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In 1972, the Nordics started skating in the World Hockey Association (WHA). This important piece of the wall in Quebec’s sporting history will be highlighted with great fanfare from September 30 to October 2, in the presence of a few dozen notable former players from the cursed circuit.

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Nordic members such as Marc Tardif, Réal Cloutier, François Lacombe, Serge Bernier, Richard Brodeur as well as Christian and Paulin Bordeleau have already confirmed their presence, as have some stars from other WHA formations, such as the legendary Bobby Hull, André Lacroix and Steve Carlson (from the Hanson brothers from the film Slap).

The announcement of the event was given at the Stade Canac, in the background many jerseys of the rebel circuit.

“Thanks to WHA there was Nordiques and then the merger with the NHL. We have to talk about this championship. “

“He made a big impact in the world of professional hockey with around sixty NHL players who chose to sign with WHA clubs at the start of the circuit. The AMH has decompartmentalized hockey, “said Marc Durand, president of the Sports History Society of the Capitale-Nationale (SHSCN).


The 50th anniversary of the birth of AMH and the Nordiques is the result of a collaboration between (in order from left to right) Tek Chher, of TW Sportscards, Pierre-Yves Dumont, member of the SHSCN, Marc Durand, president of the SHSCN, François Lacombe, former Nordiques and honorary president, Olivier Bilodeau, president of the organizing committee, as well as Benoît Clairoux, from the histoirenordiques.ca site.

Photo Stephane Cadorette

The 50th anniversary of the birth of AMH and the Nordiques is the result of a collaboration between (in order from left to right) Tek Chher, of TW Sportscards, Pierre-Yves Dumont, member of the SHSCN, Marc Durand, president of the SHSCN, François Lacombe, former Nordiques and honorary president, Olivier Bilodeau, president of the organizing committee, as well as Benoît Clairoux, from the histoirenordiques.ca site.

A first

According to Mr. Durand and his organizing committee acolytes, Quebec would be the only city to celebrate 50And anniversary of the WHA, which was engulfed by the merger of four teams with the NHL, in 1979.

“Quebec was a natural choice. It has always been an important city in the AMH. This championship was forgotten, but the players remained proud and no one took the baton anywhere. Perhaps hockey is more important to us than anywhere else, “said Mr. Durand.

Many activities

Various activities will be organized throughout the weekend, including lectures, autograph sessions, a display of artifacts from the Hockey Hall of Fame (including the AVCO Cup), as well as the grand Saturday night banquet at Château Frontenac, at which the ticket sales will allow access.

A sign that the nostalgia will be there, the banquet meal will be the same one offered on the sidelines of the first WHA All-Star Game presented in Quebec City in January 1973.

For a pantheon of sport

The funds raised during these events will be used for the project that the SHSCN has at heart to create a pantheon of sport in Quebec.

“This will be our first major funding for the project. There are talks with the city of Quebec, but nothing definitive for the moment. ”

“Quebec is one of the few cities in North America where there is no sports hall. We have to find a place to celebrate our athletes, ”begged Mr. Durand, citing in particular Myriam Bédard, Pierre Harvey, Gaétan Boucher and Patrick Roy.

In the coming months, further announcements will be made on which players will be in attendance for the 50And of the AMH and the Nordics in Quebec.

An exciting and long-awaited reunion

It is former defender François Lacombe who will be honorary president of the festivities surrounding the 1950sAnd anniversary of the birth of AMH. An honor that went to him, because he had scored the first goal in the history of the Nordic in their first home game, against the Alberta Oilers.

“Let’s say I didn’t take the puck from one end to the other like Connor McDavid, but my shot was pretty good! Lacombe remembered, still ironic.

More seriously, for former players like Lacombe, this fall’s event represents a golden opportunity to return to Quebec to celebrate memorable moments in their lives.

It was with palpable emotion that he said he had accepted the role he had been offered.

“We are all friends, even separated by distance. The heart is still there, “she said.

“He comes to bring you things like that. When you get to 75, you start thinking about how much time you have left. All this will seek emotions and memories. I am very moved, but if I am appointed honorary president it is only because I have scored a goal. There were some stars who did a lot for the Norse, “he added.

A necessary championship

While many at the time looked to AMH, the advent of this vilified league was necessary, according to Lacombe. About 100 Quebec players played there for seven seasons.

“We had to find out about other players. It was always the guys from Canada that we saw. When AMH was born, people said to themselves: look how good these guys are too! This championship has allowed us to evolve at home, “said the former defender.

According to him, it won’t be necessary to twist many arms to bring some 60 former players to Quebec.

“Everyone loved us in Quebec. The city hardly embarked. People almost followed us on our errands to see what we were going to eat. I’m sure the kids are excited to be back here, ”she smiled.

little hope

If Lacombe is delighted at the idea of ​​reconnecting with the former Nordic players, he is instead pessimistic about the team’s return to Quebec one day.

“It’s disheartening. I don’t see why we’re not entitled to a team in Quebec, but you can’t confuse the NHL. It’s too conservative. I’d love to, but I’m afraid it won’t.”

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