The return of NHL hockey to Quebec City takes one giant leap forward

According to a report on RDS.ca, hockey is closer than ever to making a return to Quebec City today.

The French Canadian authority on sporting news and events in Quebec is reporting that an announcement is slated to be made late next week (Thursday or Friday) by the mayor of Quebec City, Regis Lebaume, as well as former president of the Quebec Nordiques, Marcel Aubut, that a new arena will soon begin construction in Quebec's capital city.

The project will cost upwards of $400 million, however, both the federal and provincial governments will be solicited for $175 million a piece.

According to the RDS report, both Lebaume and Aubut had a meeting with Gary Bettman on Friday with Gary Bettman in New York. While the controversial NHL Commissioner never guaranteed that Quebec would figure into the NHL's plans in the future, whether it be through relocation or expansion, he did say that any future team in Quebec City will revolve mostly on whether or not there was a suitable arena in the city.

Seeing as the closest thing to a major sport in the city is the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Quebec Remparts, this project can only mean that the city is eying a return of NHL hockey to the city. Coincidentally, it was 30 years ago today that the Nordiques played their first NHL game, in the Colisee Pepsi, which still stands today as the home of said Quebec Remparts.

While nothing is certain, today is an exciting day for fans of hockey in Quebec City and its surrounding areas, as well as Montreal Canadiens fans, who might once again live to see a game between the two former rival cities.

More in this story as it develops. Habs blog will be up soon.