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Harper says he wants more Canadian teams in the NHL

The Canadian Press
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Harper says he wants more Canadian teams in the NHL

Prime Minister Stephen Harper gestures while speaking at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce conference on the economy in Toronto on Wednesday, October 21, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese Author: The Hockey News

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Harper says he wants more Canadian teams in the NHL

The Canadian Press
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ST-GEORGES, Que. - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he'd like to see more National Hockey League teams in Canada.

The first question Harper faced during a news conference in Quebec's Beauce region Friday was about a plan to bring back the defunct Quebec Nordiques.

"Of course, as a big hockey fan I would certainly like to see more teams created here in Canada," the prime minister replied.

"I think the cities of Quebec, Hamilton and Winnipeg are all able to support a team."

However, Harper said questions about hockey franchises would be better addressed to the NHL - not to him.

He added that he didn't want to be dragged into a local political debate.

Quebec City is in the middle of a municipal election and its incumbent mayor, Regis Labeaume, is campaigning on a promise to build a modern arena that could attract an NHL team.

Labeaume wants the provincial and federal governments to fund almost all of its projected $400 million cost.

The city lost its Nordiques in the 1990s.

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Harper says he wants more Canadian teams in the NHL