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Additionally, for most of the Whalers' tenure as an NHL team, the Hartford Civic Center was one of the smallest arenas in the league. They recorded only three winning seasons in their 18 years in the NHL, made the Stanley Cup playoffs eight times and won only one playoff series, earning the nickname "The Forever .500s" in mocking jest of their winning percentage. The Whalers spent 1979-97 in Hartford, producing just three winning seasons. 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." His skills and leadership had an immediate impact on the team, as the Whalers began playing significantly better in January. In mid-February, the Whalers began improving, led by their top line of Sanderson, Cassels and Verbeek, along with franchise goaltender Sean Burke. Webster led the team in scoring and through the playoffs. Roster. These goals were not called back, since this was before the time when the NHL began strictly enforcing crease infractions on goals. Shanahan was not happy with the trade even before playing a single game in Hartford. The Whalers also acquired goaltender Sean Burke in exchange for former first-round draft pick Bobby Holik. However, the Whalers came back home to win Games 3 and 4 by scores of 5–2 and 3–1, respectively. Period-by-period scoring for Ottawa Senators at Hartford Whalers; Teams 1st 2nd 3rd T; Senators: 1: 0: 2: 3: Whalers: 2: 1: 2: 5: Regular Season Day 76. 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. In the summer of 1994, the Whalers were purchased, in a deal brokered by the Connecticut Development Authority, by Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos, along with partners Thomas Thewes and Jim Rutherford. Logos via Sports Logos.net / About logos. Philadelphia Flyers at Hartford Whalers Box Score — December 23, 1995. via Sports Logos.net.  Craig Adams was the last player drafted in Whalers' history. At the end of the three-year Johnston era, only seven players remained from the Whalers' active roster prior to Johnston taking over as general manager. 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. In 2012, the CRDA put the contract out to bid with hopes of combining the operations with Rentschler Field. 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. The Whalers lost Game 5 by a score of 7–4. 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.. 21-10-5. 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..  Furthermore, ownership only made season tickets available in full-season (41-game) packages, eliminating the popular six-, 9-, 10- and 20-game mini-plans in a strategy largely designed to spur purchases from corporations and wealthier individuals. The team developed a heated rivalry with the Bruins because they were based only 100 miles northeast of Hartford and the fact they used to play in the same arena. The Whalers reached a low point in the season when six players and two assistant coaches were arrested in Buffalo, New York, after being involved in a bar room brawl. December 20, 1996 - The Hartford Whalers have told Gov. Whalers fans and local media condemned Shanahan for his comments and he was immediately stripped of his captaincy; Kevin Dineen took over the role. Prev Game Next Game. The graduation ceremonies of Central Connecticut State University and other local colleges are also held annually at the XL Center. Hartford Whalers.  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 team averaged over 14,000 fans only twice in its 15 years at the Civic Center. 1 talking about this. Since the 1992–93 season was a rebuilding year for the Whalers, they finished the season with only 58 points, the second-worst point total in franchise history, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1985. Around this same time, Paul Holmgren checked himself into rehab for alcohol addiction after being arrested with a DUI in Simsbury. The Hartford Whalers, a hockey team whose losing record is matched only by its financial woes, rejected the state's offer of a new $147.5 million arena today and … The Whalers started the series strongly, winning the first two games at home, but, beginning in Game 3, the Nordiques were able to successfully take the Whalers off their game by playing a tough, chippy style of hockey. The Whalers were also able to draft defenseman Chris Pronger, who began his career with the Whalers, playing alongside veteran defenseman Brad McCrimmon, and later became an NHL star. 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. In the summer of 1992, the Whalers hired Brian Burke to replace Eddie Johnston as general manager to rebuild the Whalers. , Adidas' "Reverse Retro" program in 2021 saw the Hurricanes wear silver versions of the classic Whalers uniform, bridging both Whalers eras in the design. Karmanos had discussed relocating the Whalers to Norfolk, Virginia (which would have been the first major sports team for that market) as the Hampton Roads Rhinos, but the failure of a season-ticket drive in Norfolk, coupled with a lack of an adequate arena, led to those plans being canceled. Though they never again won the WHA championship, the New England Whalers were a successful team, never missing the playoffs in league history, and finishing first in their division three times. The Whalers started off the season poorly. 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. Aside from various minor league teams in New Haven, the area had been largely bereft of professional hockey until the Whalers' arrival. After a short stint as the Connecticut Whale, they reverted to the Wolf Pack moniker in 2013. As originally built in 1975, it seated 10,507 for hockey, and served as the home of the then–New England Whalers for three years. The Howes, Rogers, Ley, Keon, Smith, Roberts and Lacroix are the New England Whalers players who stayed on the team as it made the transition to the NHL and became the Hartford Whalers. On May 6, 1997, Karmanos announced the team would move to Raleigh, North Carolina, to become the Carolina Hurricanes, playing its first two seasons in North Carolina at the Greensboro Coliseum while awaiting arena construction in Raleigh, a year earlier than planned. The links below show all of the trades and transactions Ed Johnston made as the general manager of the Whalers. The Whalers were never as successful in the NHL as they had been in the WHA. Item Information. This limited the team's marketability. Dedicated to the life and times of the Hartford Whalers Fanatics.com stocks Vintage Whalers Jerseys for any old-school fan to get their hands on, including Classic Premier Whalers Jerseys made by CCM.  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. The Whalers also acquired another NHL legend, Bobby Hull, near the NHL trade deadline in 1980. The regular season was highlighted by captain Ron Francis putting up career highs in goals (32), assists (69) and points (101). Note: This list does not include selections from the WHA. Matchbook Cover - GORDIE HOWE - HARTFORD WHALERS HOCKEY - 1979 - sports. 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. • The Whalers spent 1979-97 in Hartford, producing just three winning seasons. 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. Burke had worked for the Vancouver Canucks, helping them build the team that eventually went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. As a result, both teams broke NHL records in penalty minutes for an individual playoff game and a whole playoff series. Arena: Hartford Civic Center. The Whalers won their first four games of the season, but then struggled for the rest of the calendar year of 1995. Coincidentally, Eddie Johnston, the Hartford general manager who had orchestrated the Francis trade, would follow him to Pittsburgh as the Penguins' head coach two years later. Roberts was fired thereafter, along with general manager Eddie Johnston. Holmgren felt he was unable to handle the job of general manager and head coach, so he made Pierre McGuire the new head coach.  Good first explained that a team named the Whalers should not have a whale for a mascot and harpoons in its logo because it implies killing your own mascot. Talks fell apart when Karmanos wanted an additional $45 million to cover losses during the three years the new arena was to be built.  There were no injuries due to the collapse. At its maximum, it seated just 15,635 for hockey.  In the 2010s a new mascot costume version of Pucky was making appearances around Connecticut when the Hartford Wolf Pack minor league hockey team briefly changed its identity to the Connecticut Whale. Howe's number 9 remained officially retired by Carolina, and has never been issued since the relocation to North Carolina, but there is no banner to acknowledge it.. On March 21, 2007, the CRDA selected the Northland/Anschutz Entertainment Group proposal to operate the arena complex; Northland also developed the Hartford 21 residential tower on the adjacent Civic Center Mall site. Arena: XL Center (Capacity: 15,635) Captains: TJ Brodie (C), Colin Wilson (A), Niklas Hjalmarsson (A) Last Game. However, he was immediately made the team's new captain. These are the top-ten point-scorers in Hartford Whalers' history, combining NHL and WHA totals. The love affair with the team had more to do with relationships than results, said Anderson. The Whalers finished fourth in the Adams Division in the 1985–86 regular season, earning themselves a playoff berth for the first time since 1980. Railroad Matchbook Cover Bobtail - New York New Haven and Hartford ... CIVIC CENTER (NHL HARTFORD WHALERS HOME ARENA) -K13. Rutherford became the team's new general manager and Holmgren returned as the head coach. Fed up with the situation, Baldwin decided to move elsewhere. The Whalers ultimately announced that they would be leaving Hartford after the 1996–97 season. Compuware Corp. Chairman Peter Karmanos Jr. says he's interested in bringing 300 to 1,500 well- paid, high-technology jobs to Greater Hartford. After failed negotiations to build a new downtown arena for the Whalers with then-Governor John G. Rowland, on March 25, 1997, Karmanos announced that the team would leave. The Hartford Whalers say the state must build a new arena, costing as much as $240 million in taxpayers' money, if it wantsthe team to stayin Connecticut. The Whalers lost Game 1 by a score of 2–0 and Game 2 by a score of 5–2, creating the expectation that the Canadiens would sweep the Whalers out of the first round, as they did in the 1989 playoffs. The coaching change did not help the Whalers, however, since McGuire was not popular with the players; the Whalers continued to struggle. This included a nine-game losing streak in January and a six-game losing streak in March. The team began auspiciously, signing former Detroit Red Wings star Tom Webster, hard rock Boston Bruins' defenseman Ted Green (the team's inaugural captain), Toronto Maple Leafs' defensemen Rick Ley, Jim Dorey and Brad Selwood, and former Pittsburgh Penguins' goaltender Al Smith. 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. In the first round of the playoffs, the Whalers were swept by the Montreal Canadiens three games to none. The arena has hosted many professional wrestling events; including, This page was last edited on 26 November 2020, at 13:06. 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. While the goal horn is still used by the Hurricanes today, "Brass Bonanza" was quickly reintroduced after Burke left the team the following year. Nineteen of twenty six NHL teams have first class arenas or will have one within the next two years. However, the Garden was owned by the rival NHL Bruins, and the Whalers found themselves fourth in priority for dates behind the Bruins, Boston Celtics and even the American Hockey League's Boston Braves. He put a whale's tail over a "W" allowing the negative space between the two shapes to create an "H" and the Hartford Whalers logo was born. It was introduced in the mid-1970s on the B side of a souvenir record of team radio-broadcast highlights while they were still named the New England Whalers and playing in the WHA. Owner Peter Karmanos pledged to keep the Whalers in the city of Hartford for four years when he purchased the team in 1994. While waiting for their new arena in Hartford, the Whalers played the first part of the 1974-75 NHL season at The Big E Coliseum in West Springfield, Massachusetts. In September 2010, the arena was upgraded with a new center-hung scoreboard with four Sony Jumbotrons and a state-of-the-art sound system. Most of their sellouts came when either the Bruins, the New York Islanders, or the New York Rangers played in Hartford, bringing thousands of their own fans with them. On April 13, 1997, the Whalers played their last game in Hartford, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2–1. The Whalers need a new arena in Hartford that will allow the Whalers and a private corporation running the new arena to make money. Multi-purpose arena and convention center located in downtown Hartford, Connecticut, NCAA national championships in bold; NCAA Final Four appearances in italics, NCAA Division I college basketball venues in. A Capital Region Development Authority (CDRA) report (commissioned from … However, Adams did not become a member of the team until 2000, when the team had already moved to North Carolina.. By the end of January, they had a record of 26–20–1 for 53 points after 47 games. 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. Glen Wesley was the last Whaler still active with the Hartford/Carolina franchise, upon his retirement on June 5, 2008, though his stint was not continuous, playing seven games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2003 after a deadline deal before re-signing in Carolina in the 2003 off-season. 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. In 1997, the Whalers franchise relocated to North Carolina, where it became the Carolina Hurricanes. The Whalers entered the 1993–94 season as members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference, and with high hopes from a core of young talented players. In 1997, following the good start, the Whalers' season began to slip away. Before the beginning of the 1995–96 season, the Whalers management became frustrated with the slow development of highly rated prospect Chris Pronger. 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. Free shipping . 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.. The club played its first season's home games at Boston Garden and Boston Arena. As a result, Pronger was sent to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Brendan Shanahan. The Whalers went on to face the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. In Game 4, the Whalers were in front of their home crowd with a two games to one series lead and a 5–2 lead in the game entering the third period. View Boxscore. At the same time, Peter Sidorkiewicz began struggling in goal for the Whalers, and the Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the third period, winning the game 6–5. 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. On draft day, the Whalers selected the highly rated Jeff O'Neill in the first round. They finished the season with 73 points and a playoff berth and had the best record of the four former WHA franchises that entered the NHL in 1979–80. 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. The team scored a major coup when it signed legend Gordie Howe and his sons Mark and Marty from the Houston Aeros in 1977. One bright spot for the Whalers was the emergence of Sean Burke as their franchise and star goaltender. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game at the Hartford Civic Center in front of a sellout crowd. Tenure interrupted in 1979 by roof collapse. By the end of the 1986–87 season, Francis had cut or traded away every player from the 1982–83 Whalers' roster save for Ron Francis, Paul MacDermid, and Paul Lawless. Condition:--not specified. Evidence showed that the roof had started to fail during construction, with bowed compression members. It is used for trade shows, conventions, banquets, meetings and other events. 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. The Whalers went on to eliminate the first-place Quebec Nordiques in a three-game sweep in the first round, winning their first, and only, NHL playoff series in Hartford. In December 2007, the Center was renamed when the arena's naming rights were sold to XL Group insurance company in a 6-year agreement. The New York Rangers, looking to capitalize on Hartford as a potential market, placed its farm team there to become the Hartford Wolf Pack starting in 1997. Home as the Hartford Whalers season, starting off with a DUI in Simsbury rated! Face the Boston Bruins in the NHL stars Andrew Cassels and Geoff Sanderson instead. 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