If the Hurricanes could resurrect the Whalers, why couldn’t the Colorado Avalanche do the same with the Quebec Nordiques?
The team was asked that very important question by The Athletic recently and we got ourselves a somewhat hopeful answer.
“Next year is the team’s 25th anniversary season. I think there is an opportunity,” Senior VP and chief marketing officer of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Declan Bolger said in the article. “We’ve talked about it, but the opportunity has not arose up to now.”
Colorado has never worn a Nordiques jersey during a game in the quarter-century since their move southwest, but the three remaining former Nords players on the team did once don the fleurdelise sweaters pre-game for an exhibition contest in Quebec between the Avs and Canadiens in 2002.
The Avalanche’s team history originally begins in San Francisco back in 1972, the rights of the charter World Hockey Association franchise transferred to Quebec City before even playing a game. Les Nordiques, French for “The Nordics”, played in all seven of the WHA’s seasons before transferring to the NHL in 1979 (but officially regarded as an expansion team). Following the 1994-95 season, during which the Nordiques finished on top of the Eastern Conference, the club moved to Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche where they promptly won the Stanley Cup in their first season.
The article goes on to talk at length with Mark Forman of the Carolina Hurricanes about the process involved in bringing back a former team’s uniform, as they did in 2018 with the Hartford Whalers. That league approval and several months of prep time to choose the design and manufacture the physical uniforms were all required. A very interesting read that proves that if the ball got rolling now, the Avs could certainly have it ready in time to wear a Nordiques throwback uniform during the 2020-21 season.
If the team does bring back the Nords, I think it’s quite clear they’ll wear the blue jersey seen in the photo earlier in this post — Quebec wore that design for all but one of their seasons in the NHL. Though, it could be interesting to see them break out those ultra-90s purple-and-teal uniforms they were supposed to wear *if* they had stayed in town.