WASHINGTON, D.C. - If the NHL decides to add a 32nd team, players would want it to be located in Quebec City, Quebec.
USA TODAY Sports polled 31 high-profile players at the NHL/NHL Players' Association media tour and 21 (67.7%) chose Quebec as the venue the league should next embrace.
Seattle finished second in the survey with nine votes, and Houston totaled one vote.
Previously Quebec had been the home to the NHL's Quebec Nordiques (1979-95) before the franchise was sold and moved to Colorado. The NHL economic scheme is far different today, and it is presumed a new Quebec franchise would have a much easier time being a financial success.
The lure of Seattle is that it would be a natural fit in a Western Conference that currently only has 15 teams after the addition of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, who are set to play their first season. The Eastern Conference has 16 teams.
Other survey results:
► More than 90% of players polled said they believe that NHL players’ right to compete in the Olympics should be included in the next collecting bargaining agreement (CBA).
Twenty-eight of the 31 players vote "yes’" on that question. One voted "no," and two were undecided. One of the undecideds said it would be dependent upon what players would have to give up to achieve Olympic participation.
► With NHL players unable to compete in the 2018 Olympics, players involved in the survey made Russia the slight favorite to win the gold in South Korea.
But our tally suggests players believe it is a wide open tournament. Only 12 (38.7%) chose Russia, 10 picked Canada and seven took the United States. Finland and Switzerland also received a vote.
► Players also made it clear that they believe there is parity in the NHL. They were asked to pick a team flying under the radar that could win the Stanley Cup, and they voted for 14 different teams.
The Stars were the top choice with five votes. The Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs had four votes each and Nashville Predators had three. The Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning received two votes apiece, while the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets had vote each.
Players were not allowed to select their own team as the answer to this question.
The 31 players polled came from 28 different NHL teams.
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