Originally based in Boston, the team joined the WHA in the league's inaugural season, and was known as the New England Whalers throughout its time in the WHA. This limited the team's marketability.  The song is still very popular with Hartford crowds and continues to occasionally be played at XL Center events, including at Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale games from 2011 to 2013 and at the University of Connecticut's basketball and men's ice hockey games. , In early 1997, Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland stated that he did not want to spend Connecticut taxpayer dollars to fund a new arena in Hartford. Owned by the City of Hartford, it is managed by the quasi-public Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) under a lease with the city and operated by Spectra. Depicted as a green whale, not only was he a mascot but he was also a secondary logo of the team, appearing on the shoulders of their jerseys from the 1970s WHA days until the mid 1980s. The Whalers could get even more attention with Carolina’s playoff run. Prev Game Next Game. The Whalers franchise was created in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association (WHA) awarded a franchise to New England businessmen Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, W. Godfrey Wood and William Edward Barnes to begin play in Boston.  In February 2013, Global Spectrum of Philadelphia, was chosen to take over both the XL Center and Rentschler Field with Ovations Food Services taking over all food and beverage operations. The building was heavily renovated and re-opened January 17, 1980. Aside from various minor league teams in New Haven, the area had been largely bereft of professional hockey until the Whalers' arrival. For the next 30 games, the Whalers put up a record of 16–11–3 and it appeared as if the Whalers were on their way to their first playoff berth since 1992. The franchise remained in Hartford until it relocated to North Carolina for the 1997–98 season, save for a temporary relocation to the nearby Springfield Civic Center in the late 1970s while their Hartford arena was being rebuilt after heavy snow followed by heavy rain caused the roof, which suffered from several engineering and construction shortcomings, to collapse.. Rowland went on to negotiate a tentative deal that would bring the New England Patriots to Connecticut, but those talks also fell apart after the state and Patriots ownership failed to reach an agreement on a new stadium, instead choosing to stay in Foxborough to build what would become Gillette Stadium.. At the trade deadline, the Whalers first year general manager Eddie Johnston made the first in a series of destructive trades by sending franchise goaltender Mike Liut to the Washington Capitals in exchange for center Yvon Corriveau. The "Save the Whale" campaign netted season ticket sales totaling 8,563 in less than a 45-day span, despite the Whalers raising ticket prices by an average of 20 percent, eliminating partial ticket plans and increasing the deposit amount for season tickets by 750 percent. Once the Whalers' owner and select members of team staff agreed that this was a problem, Good presented some preliminary sketches as a way to think about the logo, and team founder and owner Howard Baldwin pointed to one that was a "W"-shaped trident with an "H" in the middle and said, "We'll go with that one."  There were no injuries due to the collapse. While Hartford would make the playoffs for the next five seasons in a row, they never came close to duplicating their previous success, with one exception in the 1989–90 season. As a result, Paul Maurice replaced Holmgren as head coach in November. The Whalers had an all-time head-to-head record of 37–69–12 against Boston. The following season, 1986–87, the Whalers won their lone division championship, led by centers Ron Francis and Ray Ferraro, emerging winger Kevin Dineen, defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, superstar goaltender Mike Liut and scorer Sylvain Turgeon. The Civic Center is the full-time home of the Hartford Wolf Pack AHL hockey team and part-time home of the University of Connecticut (UConn) men's and women's basketball teams and the UConn Huskies men's ice hockey team. Video: Carolina Hurricanes unveil new Reverse Retro jerseys. Despite the strong finish in the second half of the season, the Whalers were unable to recover from their poor start and they missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. via Sports Logos.net. Enter Hartford, Connecticut, one of the richer cities in North America, they had just finished building the Hartford Civic Center, a multipurpose arena in the heart of downtown Hartford. The next season was not so fine, however, but while age finally caught up with Gordie Howe, the slack was picked up by Andre Lacroix, the WHA's all-time leading scorer, acquired from the Aeros. , Unlike most sports teams at any level the Whalers' had an official theme song entitled "Brass Bonanza", a tune composed and arranged by Jacques Ysaye (under the pseudonym of Jack Say) and originally called "Evening Beat". The Whalers also acquired another NHL legend, Bobby Hull, near the NHL trade deadline in 1980. About two months later, on July 7, Francis hired Jack Evans to be the Whalers' new head coach. The arena could cost as much as $240 million, the NHL team said in a report sent to Rowland. The surrounding shopping mall was torn down in 2004 and was replaced by street-level retail shops and a 36-story residential tower named Hartford 21 which opened in 2006 and is the tallest residential tower between New York City and Boston. Connecticut-based graphic designer Peter Good was hired by the Jack Lardis Associates advertising agency to design a new logo for the team. Roberts was fired thereafter, along with general manager Eddie Johnston. Whenever they did make the playoffs, they faced the near-certainty of having to get past the Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins went on to dispose of the Canadiens in five games, then sweep the Capitals in the Wales Conference Finals before losing in the Stanley Cup finals to the Edmonton Oilers. With fans of the team and former players such Bob Crawford having fond memories of Whalers, it has helped bolster the legacy of Hartford’s NHL years and even stoked hopes for some of a possible return of the NHL in the future. Those players were forwards Ed Kastelic and Terry Yake; defensemen Randy Ladouceur, Brad Shaw and Adam Burt; and goaltenders Peter Sidorkiewicz and Kay Whitmore. Logos via Sports Logos.net / About logos. Starting in the late 1990s, UConn men's basketball moved most of their important games—including the bulk of their Big East Conferencegames—to the Coliseum. The trades that Johnston made, particularly the Ron Francis trade, proved to be disastrous for the Whalers, since the players acquired did not meet the team's expectations, leaving the Whalers depleted of talent and costing them substantial goodwill in Hartford. The city of Hartford, which was then constructing a new downtown arena, appeared to be a perfect choice, with only one drawback: the new Civic Center wouldn’t be complete until halfway through the Whalers’ third season. In addition, future NHL star Michael Nylander began his NHL career with the Whalers during the 1992–93 season. At its maximum, it seated just 15,635 for hockey. Compuware Corp. Chairman Peter Karmanos Jr. says he's interested in bringing 300 to 1,500 well- paid, high-technology jobs to Greater Hartford. At the start of the 2014–15 season the UConn men's ice hockey program moved to the XL Center as a condition of its joining Hockey East.. In March, Francis and Dineen returned from their injuries and the Whalers put up a record of 12–4–2 in the months of March and April. The song plays whenever a player on the city's minor-league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats, hits a home run. This represented an expansion of over 3,500 tickets from the existing base. Karmanos stated that Rowland had no intention making a serious offer to keep the Whalers in Connecticut since Rowland harbored hopes to bring a National Football League (NFL) franchise to the State. After the move to North Carolina, the Hurricanes returned number 2 and 19 to circulation; Glen Wesley was the only player to wear number 2 in Carolina before that number was re-retired in 2009 in his honor. Additionally, for most of the Whalers' tenure as an NHL team, the Hartford Civic Center was one of the smallest arenas in the league. , The official mascot of the Whalers was named "Pucky The Whale" and most commonly referred to as "Pucky". Like Winnipeg and Quebec, Hartford with a proper arena should be a winner, a sure money maker. BrassBonanza.com - Theme song audio and game highlights, Gary L. Davidson Award / Gordie Howe Trophy, Howard Baldwin Trophy / Robert Schmertz Memorial Trophy, Defunct and relocated National Hockey League teams, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hartford_Whalers&oldid=992893193, Sports teams in Springfield, Massachusetts, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 17:41. On March 4, 1991, Francis was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with Ulf Samuelsson and Grant Jennings, in exchange for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Jeff Parker. A portion of the $35 million allocation went towards a study on the arena's long-term viability; either more major renovations or replacing it with a new facility. However, thanks to an aggressive civic campaign and the efforts of many fans, the Whalers announced that they would stay in Connecticut through at least 1997. Dedicated to the life and times of the Hartford Whalers Liut was having a career year during the 1989–90 season and this trade left the Whalers with sophomore goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz as their starter, with rookie Kay Whitmore as the backup. December 23, 1995. On May 2, 1983, the Whalers hired Emile Francis as their new general manager to rebuild the team. He demanded a trade out of Hartford because he claimed he did not want to play in a small market for a team with an uncertain future about its location. Rutherford also acquired defenseman Glen Wesley from the Boston Bruins in exchange for three first-round draft picks (Kyle McLaren, Johnathan Aitken and Sergei Samsonov). Rutherford became the team's new general manager and Holmgren returned as the head coach. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game at the Hartford Civic Center in front of a sellout crowd. The Connecticut State Legislature set aside $35 million in funding for improvements to the XL Center that began in early spring 2014 and completed in time for the start of the 2014-15 seasons of the Wolf Pack and UConn men's hockey in October. The Exhibition Center consists of a 68,855-square-foot (6,397 m2) exhibit hall, a 16,080-square-foot (1,494 m2) assembly hall that can divide into two meeting rooms, plus seven meeting rooms totaling 7,390 square feet (687 m2) and two lobbies totaling 6,100 square feet (570 m2). Parker would only play four games in Hartford before suffering a concussion and a knee injury within two weeks of each other, effectively ending his NHL career. Around this same time, Paul Holmgren checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction after being arrested with a DUI in Simsbury.  The song was a big hit with the team, Whalers fans, and even fans of other NHL teams and was played at home games when the Whalers entered the rink for warmups and also after they scored a goal. The UConn men's hockey team uses the XL Center as its primary home as the newest men's member of Hockey East. Talks fell apart when Karmanos wanted an additional $45 million to cover losses during the three years the new arena was to be built. View Boxscore. December 20, 1996 - The Hartford Whalers have told Gov. Webster led the team in scoring and through the playoffs. *On January 6, 2006, Hartford's new pro hockey team, the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL, honored three other members of the Whalers -- Ulf Samuelsson (5), Ron Francis (10) and Kevin Dineen (11). John Rowland they will leave unless Connecticut taxpayers build them a new arena.  The announcement was generally viewed as positive recognition of the roots of the Hurricane franchise, although not all former Whalers' fans approved of the use. Corriveau had an excellent chance for a second consecutive overtime winner in the first overtime period on a breakaway, but his shot missed the net. To make matters worse, the Whalers reputation of making disastrous trades began to unfold, as the team began to trade away stars for mediocre players in an attempt to gain depth. The coaching change did not help the Whalers, however, since McGuire was not popular with the players; the Whalers continued to struggle. About logos. Since the NHL's Boston Bruins were also located in New England and had opposed the NHL-WHA merger due to the Whalers' proximity to Boston, a compromise was made for the New England Whalers to become the Hartford Whalers when they joined the NHL.. Despite these problems, the Whalers got off to a very good start, with a 14–7–6 record after the first 27 games, sitting in first in their division. Item Information. However, Adams did not become a member of the team until 2000, when the team had already moved to North Carolina.. The arena seats 15,635 for ice hockey and 16,294 for basketball, 16,606 for center-stage concerts, 16,282 for end-stage concerts, and 8,239 for ¾-end stage concerts, and contains 46 luxury suites and a 310-seat Coliseum Club, plus 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of arena floor space, enabling it to be used for trade shows and conventions in addition to concerts, circuses, ice shows, sporting events and other events.
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