Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky firmly believes that NHL will return to Quebec City.

Uncertainty surrounding the NHL's future in Phoenix has helped fuel speculation Quebec City could be a potential landing spot for the Coyotes.  

The Quebec capital has been without an NHL franchise since the Nordiques, now Colorado Avalanche, left in 1995. But the Canadian Hall of Famer, 52, has said his gut feeling is that the city will again have its own pro hockey franchise in the future.

"I think it's only a matter of time before Quebec City is going to get a franchise," Gretzky told reporters. 

"Listen, I think we all agree it's a good city and it can support an NHL team, especially now with the salary cap rules and the parity we have in the game of hockey. 

"When that's going to be, it's anybody's guess but when they do come back in, it's going to be a strong, solid franchise just like Winnipeg is now and it will be as successful as they are."

The NHL made a triumphant return to Winnipeg in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers relocated there and were renamed the Jets. The original Winnipeg Jets operated in the NHL from 1979 until 1996 when they left for Phoenix.

The Quebec Nordiques were founded in 1972 and played in the World Hockey Association before joining the NHL in '79. But following the 1994-95 season the franchise was sold, moved to Denver and was renamed. Avalanche proceeded to win the Stanley Cup in their first year in Denver.

Renaissance Sports & Entertainment is trying to purchase the Coyotes and keep them in Arizona. But Glendale city council must decide whether to accept a tentative lease agreement with the group.

Seattle had been mentioned as a frontrunner for the troubled club's new destination, but Quebec could swoop should the deal fall through.


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