The secret letter of the last chance

La lettre secrète de la dernière chance

It was around the 18 or 19 may. In Denver, Colorado. A week later, on Thursday, may 25, 1995, Marcel Aubut and his partners, owners of the Quebec Nordiques were going to announce that the team left Quebec for Colorado after being sold to the group COMSAT.

In a hotel room that mr. Marcel Aubut had reserved to Denver, he reviewed the provisions for the sale of the Nordiques.

In less than an hour, he would be with Luc Ouellet, his right arm, to sign the official documents in a room of COMSAT. Not a simple promise of sale, the official documents. Those who put an end for good to the Quebec Nordiques. One more signature and they were to become the Colorado Avalanche.

Marcel Aubut and his right hand Luc Ouellet, former head of cabinet of the minister of Justice and has been for some years a man of confidence of Aubut, waited and dragged the examination of the documents. As if Aubut did not want to leave the room.

Aubut was at the limit of suffocation. He still had a last chance to save the Northern. He had in his pocket a confidential letter torn to COMSAT, signed by both parties, which gave him the right, even after the acceptance of the terms of the sale, 10 minutes from the signature of all parties, to cancel the if the government of Quebec changed her mind and agreed to help save the team.

It is finished

Aubut took a deep breath and returned heavily to his room. He was going to play this last card that allowed him the letter of COMSAT. In a last desperate gesture, he dialled the number of the office of the prime minister Jacques Parizeau at Quebec.

“If my memories are correct, it is John Royer, the chief of staff, who replied : John, I am in Denver. This is really the last chance. Can you help us to save the Nords ? Are you ready to commit ? Just tell me that you are going to embark ? ” said Aubut.

“I remember he told me… no, Marcel, it is finished… we have moved on to something else… we can go back to… something. It wanted to say no, it was a clear and definitive… “, remembers mr. Aubut.

Aubut had been hoped that the prime minister Jacques Parizeau has one last weekend to review the folder. It was still possible to turn back. But the secret letter would remain secret. It would not serve the purpose.

It was finished. The final nail in the coffin.


A week later, Luc Ouellet and Marcel Aubut met with the employees of Northern. It was an hour before announcing to the media that the Nordiques moved to Colorado.

“They were not many, the Nords were an organization of modest managed as tightly as possible. Everyone was crying. They lost a demanding job that they were filled with passion, ” says Ouellet.

“Then, it is mounted in a van, Marcel and me, and we headed to the Concorde. Entering the tunnel to the parking, I was forced to stop. Marcel Aubut was crying like a child. He had never wanted to sell. Until the end, he believed that he would manage to convince governments not to let go of such a fine organization as vital to Quebec. Our big book of work is known as : Document for sale, it was written on the cover page : Document for survival. He kept saying tearfully : ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it.’ I waited a few minutes and I stirred a little. Kind, let’s go Marcel, you got a job to do. We are going to go there. “

Total Surprise

Outside, the journalists of Quebec were not so many. Nobody expected that we announce the departure of the team. My old friend Maurice Dumas, a columnist of hockey in the Sun at the time, was convinced that he came to cover the press conference announcing the survival of the Nordic. Same thing for Albert Ladouceur.

Even Luc Grenier, director of sports at the Journal de Québec, working with various facts to TQS at the time.

“I was sent to cover what would happen outside. However, there was nothing. Nobody believed at the start. I went to the press conference, ” recalls Grenier.

Luc Ouellet looked at the scene in the background. Discreetly. With a heavy heart.

The life is still well made.

Today, it is associated with Quebec for the National, the big firm of public relations.

Property of Andrew and Geoff Molson.

Poor families

I know. I know very well. Nobody’s going to cry. Nobody is going to complain. They are young, they are healthy and they are very rich.

When one is young, healthy and very rich, there is nothing difficult to leave wife and children, his neighborhood, his city, his pool and his friends to go lock themselves to train and play hockey in camera in order to feed the sponsors and the television networks of the national League.

What is this idea that a young father would like better to spend the month of July on the edge of the pool or the lake with his girlfriend and small ? He hates to see his children crying when he leaves the house in the summer ?

What is this thinking that even when one is young, healthy and very rich, it keeps human emotions ?

Humans also

Your p’tits guys have no case to whine. They could earn $ 14 / hour in a private CHSLD without air conditioning. While their hotel is going to be very cool. I write it down immediately as you think.

The problem is that most of them love their blonde and their children, that others are in love with a new flame and that they remain young men as human as the neighbor who misses his mother locked up in a CHSLD.

Are just more young, more healthy and much more wealthy.

Done that, send the book…

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