QUEBEC CITY - The media company Quebecor Inc. has officially entered the running for an NHL expansion team.

The company said Monday on its Twitter account that it has submitted its "candidacy for the NHL expansion process in order to bring the Nordiques back to Quebec City."

The NHL announced last month that it was opening the formal expansion process.

Quebec City has not had an NHL team since the Nordiques left for Denver and became the Colorado Avalanche in 1995.

Quebecor owns the new 18,259-capacity Videotron Arena in Quebec City. It's among several groups that have expressed interest in an expansion franchise, along with Las Vegas, Seattle and others.

The NHL has said the earliest any expansion would happen is the 2017-18 season.

The league set July 20 as the deadline for potential expansion team owners to submit their bids for teams bids that include a $10 million down-payment, with $2 million nonrefundable.

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There are 16 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 in the West, which would seem to make Las Vegas and potentially Seattle or Portland, Oregon, favorites for expansion. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said geography is an issue, but not the determining factor.

The NHL has a relationship with Quebecor through its French-language television-rights deal with the TVA television network.