The Return of the Hartford Whalers

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by GWhale*, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. GWhale*

    GWhale* Guest

    Just so you know what's going on in Hartford for those who are interested...

    In 1997, when the Whalers left, Madison Square Garden was selected to run the Hartford Civic Center and bring an arena football team and the Rangers' AHL affiliate from Binghamton.

    Since then, arena football didn't fly in sophisticated Hartford, and the AHL affiliate (Hartford Wolf Pack) pretty much drove nearly all Whaler fans away. In fact, you're more likely to hear people say they hate the Wolf Pack than find people who actually go to their games. Needless to say, attendance is very low for a city this large, hovering in the 4k range I believe in an area that loves hockey. This is the highly condensed version of the events of the past 8 years.

    In the past month, Howard Baldwin (he's beloved here, started the Whalers and was here for 18 years until corrupt bankers became in control and drove the team through the hell we endured from 1990 on) has been trying to take control of the Hartford Civic Center. The arena is owned by the city and in control of the Connecticut Development Authority, who basically don't care much of it but are now finally realizing its potential is being wasted by Madison Square Garden.

    The news has been all over the Hartford media, and it's highly possible that next year or the season after you will see the Hartford Whalers of the AHL. Yes, the minor league Whalers. Baldwin wants to eventually move back up to the NHL, so he's hoping to build the club up to NHL viability. A move like that is common in European and worldwide sports, I don't believe its ever happened in the NHL. Perhaps if a team folds, the Whalers could take its place in the NHL, but who knows how or if the club will be promoted.

    A lot of hockey fans in Hartford are eagerly awaiting more news on this, a consultant is to be hired to determine if a new arena needs to be built and how the current building should be managed, and hopefully the Hartford Whalers will be reincarnated very soon!!

    Forever Bleeding Green,
    GWhale

    }3
     
  2. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    I hope it works out this way, I really do. I hate that my beloved Carolina Hurricanes are the product of the pain of another fanbase. This would take away that sting a little.
     
  3. Jet

    Jet Patty Cilantro

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    Best of luck GWhale... I definitely feel your pain! The Jets left a serious void in Winnipeg in 96 when they left for Phoenix, and the Manitoba Moose have experienced similar wrath from Jets fans who want nothing to do with the AHL

    Heres to hoping we both get our NHL clubs back :handclap:

    Merry Christmas
     
  4. FLYLine27*

    FLYLine27* BUCH

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    Oh yes, changing the name from the minor league Wolf Pack to the Minor league Whalers will have the fan base come flying back.
     
  5. GWhale*

    GWhale* Guest

    Likewise, I feel your pain! If Winnipeg comes back, they will be my favourite NHL team. I don't have one right now, and it will only be Hartford, Winnipeg, or Quebec. If they all come back, I'll be a fan of all three!

    If this works out, maybe you will get your own independent minor league version of the Jets as well. Then, the NHL might have a major crisis on their hands when the Whalers and Jets of the AHL have large amounts of angry supporters after them to let the teams in.
     
  6. bleedgreen

    bleedgreen Registered User

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    i dont care what league they play in actually, i just want my team back. the earlier post that made the suggestion that the changing the name of the team wouldnt change attendence - i assume that person has no idea about that area. growing up a whaler fan in such a small state, i was constantly at odds with ranger and bruins fans. 1/3 of ct couldnt even watch the whale, since somehow the rangers owned 1/3 of the states cable rights! can you imagine that happening to another team aside from the nyc area? having the rangers own the civic center and run a minor league team where we grew up having so many memories was a kick in the nuts. i dont live there anymore, but i can tell you i would never go to a wolf pack game. bad enough i had to deal with rangers fans all my life, i could care less about their table scraps now. if the team was the whale again, i would support it wholeheartedly. hartford is a great location for minor league hockey, and it is likely no coincidence that the state retains the rights to the whale logo. ive always thought from day one that the state thought it would use the logo again. they just refused to cave to karmanos. i have a hard time believing bettman will ever allow a team to come back to hartfotd in the nhl, but an ahl team named the whalers would be a small step toward filling the gaping hole the whale left behind.
     
  7. GWhale*

    GWhale* Guest

  8. Magnus Fulgur

    Magnus Fulgur Registered User

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    If the Whale ever resurfaces, they'll draw crowds from Boston, because the Bruins are unbearable. (Not bad, eh...)
     
  9. newhavenbeast

    newhavenbeast Registered User

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    http://www.courant.com/hc-whalersdream1219.artdec19,0,7726294.story?coll=hc-headlines-home

    This is a link to an article I found. I hope they let Baldwin bring us a team. He's been presented as a potential savior of Hartford Whalers hockey for a long time, and I really think he can do it. Even if we don't get an Nhl team back eventually, I'd love to at least see the Whalers logo every here and there. Its awful everytime I play a video game and see that you can use the jerseys of other defunct teams, but you can't do that with the Whalers. I don't even know who owns the rights to the logo, but it sucks that they're being so stingy with it. It seems like all these authority type people in Hartford are ticked that people won't forget the Whale... Come home!
     
  10. Dario Cueto

    Dario Cueto KIND OF A BIG DEAL

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    It could become very interesting. Pretty much all of the AHL teams are for grooming the young players but if the guy actually tries to get the best players possible and to not have an affiliation with an NHL team. It would be a good start.

    They won't be able to get quality NHL guys, but could lure guys in Europe, etc. and try to make the best AHL team possible.

    Anywho, it's a nice idea. Best of luck to Hartford.
     
  11. GWhale*

    GWhale* Guest

    It appears that story is now innacurate, because the CDA is now in the process of finding a consultant to determine what to do. No decisions can ever be made quickly in Connecticut... So, the wheels are now slowly in motion, I hope they hire a someone competent.
     
  12. bleedgreen

    bleedgreen Registered User

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    the city of hartford, or the cda own the whale logo. they never sold the rights, because of the hope the whale would return i assume. thats why the logo isnt in any video games - the league owns the rights to the other extinct teams and uses them for the games.
     
  13. newhavenbeast

    newhavenbeast Registered User

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    so that explains it. thanks
     
  14. ej_pens

    ej_pens Registered User

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    If the NHL ever lets Howard Baldwin own another NHL team, they should be committed for insanity.

    Howard Baldwin....savior? That might be the biggest joke of the year :biglaugh:
     
  15. ej_pens

    ej_pens Registered User

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    AHL franchises are required to have an NHL affiliation
     
  16. GWhale*

    GWhale* Guest

    He did fine in Hartford for 18 years, the Whalers were one of the most profitable in the NHL when he was bought out, it was the next owners who absolutely killed the team.

    He's beloved in Hartford and hated in Pittsburgh, I guess. We still want him back.
     
  17. CHRDANHUTCH

    CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    Doesn't Baldwin own a share of the AHL Iowa Stars, a team he rescued from the missteps IE MISTAKE of the Tamer Afr Regime that had included at one point the NHL Florida Panthers placing their prospects in Louisville, Kentucky only to find out 2 years in the players weren't be paid not to mention the UHL franchises in Port Huron and Elmira, one of which was summarily transferred to Roanoke to become the Vipers.

    BTW, GWhale, the original name of the Whalers was not Hartford, but New England (1972-79) but just played in Hartford, who is to supply players if the Rangers still operate the franchise, if everyone hates the Wolf*Pack as you claim why did the Rangers bull their way out of Binghamton back in 1997 leaving that veteran AHL City WITH AN INFERIORITY complex and league in the BC Icemen for 5 years until the Ottawa Senators agreed to bring the AHL TO Binghamton once again.

    Go back and understand why MSG/Rangers arrived in Hartford is due to the fact when the NE/Hartford Whalers were competitive they had an intense rivalry with the Rangers, fans from both NY and Boston would go to Whaler games, that's why the intensity of Pack fans are disdaining the Pack besides that the Rangers aren't exactly the model franchise to compare success to.

    MSG also runs Renchtler Stadium @ U-Conn, according to the Pack site affording them, not just Basketball domination at that State school.

    What has exactly changed since the Pack arrived in Hartford, GWhale, hmmmmmmm?

    Remember too, the Whalers also spent time in Springfield (first, the BIG E, then the Springfield Civic Center, now MassMutual Center, the Boston Garden, Boston Arena, now known as Matthews Arena, aka Northeastern U's home rink.....

    Except for a brief stint due to the Blizzard in Springfield, due to the HCC roof cave-in/collapse, the Whalers didn't go to Hartford until January 11, 1975, although the team adopted Hartford when the WHA collapsed in 1979.

    Had they not been moved by Karmanos and btw, when the negotiations stalled between Connecticut and the Whalers, this franchise would be just be passing its 32nd anniversary, you do realize, GWhale, that corruption was prevalent in the State leadership IE John Rowland.

    But this is not the Whalers franchise you're dealing with, Karmanos owns that franchise, you're not dealing with Carolina, you're dealing with the Rangers.

    Considering another fact, why would Connecticut's baseball team just adopt a similar name to honor the sub facilities in your state, hmmmm? BTW, where is Kevin Dineen, perhaps the most famous alumni of said Whalers, in Portland, while Hartford is stuck with a coach/GM who's most famous line was in 1988 :shakehead

    I agree w/ FLYLINE, Here, sorry Gwhale and Jet228, you also inherited another city's franchise, why exactly did the Moose choose Winnipeg anyway?
     
  18. GWhale*

    GWhale* Guest

    Is that a rule? I remember a few years ago, there were unaffiliated franchises.

    Even with an affiliation though, a team can still sign other players. Not that I agree with the AHL's rules, because I think they suck. It's to eliminate competition really and keep costs down.
     
  19. PoutinePourMoi

    PoutinePourMoi Registered User

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    Yeah, well he is a better saviour for us that Lemieux would ever be for you, :propeller
     
  20. PoutinePourMoi

    PoutinePourMoi Registered User

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    Its a bit amusing that a prospective Canadiens fan thinks he knows so much about the Whale.

    The bottom line is that Baldwin is the only person related in anyway to the Whalers that has a chance at bringing them back.

    He is working his *** off to get it done too.
     
  21. CHRDANHUTCH

    CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    GWhale:

    I believe there are no longer unaffiliated teams here after seeing Baltimore and Binghamton struggle to keep and the AHL decreed after watching Baltimore almost fold one year the AHL stipulated that in order to operate a franchise in the AHL one must have an NHL affiliation because the AHL will help a struggling franchise if asked and when the IHL went under that was a condition of the acceptance of those franchises when that league ceased operation.

    ECHL or other leagues are generally unaffiliated but most have working agreements with the AHL or NHL. Some Leagues will operate teams but the AHL will not.

    That's why you're seeing an announced team in Cincinnati and another in Utah and Edmonton waiting to determine their futures,
     
  22. Dario Cueto

    Dario Cueto KIND OF A BIG DEAL

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    Also Orlando.
     
  23. CHRDANHUTCH

    CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    UTAH is ORLANDO, JV, where did u expect to acquire that franchise ;) :shakehead
     
  24. newhavenbeast

    newhavenbeast Registered User

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    I want to add that I HATE uconn. Its not fair that CT would build a stadium for their football team to play 5 or 6 games a year, but not help the whale for 40. What's the obsession with football around here, anyway? Didn't that criminal John Rowland also try to get the patriots to come here?

    Anyhow, I will never root for uconn. They are not CTs team. They only represent a school that most of its fans probably never even went to.
     
  25. rwilson99

    rwilson99 Registered User

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    Return of the Solar Bears? Share, please.
     

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