Company bids to bring NHL expansion team to Quebec City

The NHL's first deadline for interested parties to apply for an expansion team was Monday, and one of the front-runners already announced it has submitted an official bid.

Montreal-based communications giant Quebecor confirmed via its Twitter account Monday that it has completed the formal-expansion application process to bring NHL hockey back to Quebec City.

"We confirm that we submitted our candidacy for the #NHL expansion process in order to bring the #Nordiques back to #QuébecCity," the company tweeted.

The company owns the management rights to the new Videotron Centre (named for a cable company owned by Quebecor), which is under construction in Quebec City and would be home to a new NHL franchise.

The Quebec Nordiques relocated to Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche after the 1995 season, where local ownership able to build a new arena with improved revenue streams could be found.

Quebecor is the first group to formally acknowledge having applied for an expansion franchise after the NHL announced it would open up the process during the league's awards festivities in Las Vegas in late June.

Monday is the deadline for making a formal application with the league, with several subsequent phases and deadlines due next month to further delve into each group's financial health and economic viability.

Applying for an expansion team comes with a hefty price tag: The application alone costs $10 million, $2 million of which is nonrefundable, and the expansion fee itself is believed to be north of $500 million.

Bill Foley, the prospective owner of an expansion team in Las Vegas, told ESPN.com at the time that his group would be submitting a "robust" bid for an expansion team.

Las Vegas was the site of a successful trial season-ticket run that saw some 13,300 people and small businesses make nonrefundable deposits on season tickets should the city be awarded an NHL team.

It's believed Las Vegas is the front-runner for an expansion team and could begin play in 2017-18 in the Las Vegas Arena, which is currently being built. It's also expected there will be applications to see an expansion team in Seattle, though not as many as originally anticipated.

Although there was belief that as many as three different groups could bid for a team in the Seattle area, it appears that the likeliest option now lies with Ray Bartoszek, a Connecticut-based investment banker who is aiming to build a privately funded arena in Tukwila, Washington.

The Bartoszek group declined comment on Monday's deadline but remains in communication with the league regarding bringing a team to Tukwila/Seattle.

Although Los Angeles businessman Victor Coleman is reportedly in talks to score an "NHL-first" deal for a team to play in Chris Hansen's SoDo District Arena, that has yet to be secured, according to The Seattle Times. The Times also reported that financing fell through for a potential deal to bring an arena to Bellevue.

And having a second team in Toronto remains an option, though not in the coming year. GTA Sports and Entertainment, whose push for an arena in Markham, Ontario, was squashed in 2013, is still keen on bringing another club to the greater Toronto area.

"While we continue to focus on developing the GTA Centre, we were not able to complete the necessary work by the application deadline," GTA spokesman Jesse Bernstein said via email Tuesday. "We hope that another such opportunity presents itself in the future."

ESPN.com's Craig Custance contributed to this report.