On this date 14 years ago, Kevin Dineen scored the game winning goal as the Hartford Whalers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in the Whalers final game. This game ended an 18 year run for the NHL in Hartford as new ownership packed up the team and headed south to the Carolinas. After watching a 3 part segment on youtube from the final game and it was very emotional for the fans in Hartford. Hartford really doesnt have any other teams. Many people have asked me why Hartford, why now?
Hartford is a hockey town, they have hardcore fans unlike Miami, Tampa Bay or Los Angeles. When you think of hockey you think cold, ice, and Canada. When you are thinking hockey you are not thinking about going to the beach after the game. There is a reason why the players wear "sweaters" not jerseys during the games. I mean come on Florida is not prime hockey country, no offense.
The Hartford Whalers have one of the best logos in the history of the NHL. If you are not aware of what the logo looks like you should Google it, you will not be letdown. They also have one of the greatest songs, its called the "brass bonanza." It is so good, I would suggest that you stop reading this blog for 2 minutes, go to youtube or itunes. Ok good, you're back now, lets continue.
Currently, there are way too many teams in non-hockey markets. The NHL really does not need teams in cities like Atlanta, any place in Florida, or Carolina. Teams like the Thrasher and the Coyotes of Phoneix are always near the bottom in attendence. The Thrashers are currently 4th from the bottom, and the Coyotes are 2nd from the bottom. Not to mention that the Thrashers and the Coyotes are having much trouble getting some one to buy their teams.
The biggest problem that the Hartford Whalers have in the coming back to the NHL is the commissioner Gary Bettman. Gary Bettman does not want to admit to the epic failures of moving teams South. Why do you think all these teams won cups after they moved south? Gary Bettman was trying to stabilize his decision but it was more like building castles in the sand. If Gary Bettman would swallow his pride, the Hartford Whalers would have a much better chance getting back to the NHL
Is there any real hope for the Hartford Whalers come back? Hell yeah there is, Hartford's minor league hockey team has been re-branded as "The Whale." The Whaler original owner Howard Baldwin was behind the re-branding of the minor league team. They also had a hockeyfest, an outdoor hockey event for a week, that was highlighted by an alumni game between the Whalers and the Boston Bruins. Also, Megan Fox, the actress was seen wearing a Hartford Whalers t-shirt, who can agrue against one of the hottest women on the planet?
You may know or you may not but I have signed online petitions for a new stadium in Hartford. I have sent emails to the government of Connecticut asking how I can help get the Whalers back, they probably thought I was crazy. I have started a Facebook group entitled "Lets bring back the Hartford Whalers." If you are not currently a member you should join right now.
How can you help? Join my facebook group, you can join Hartford Whaler Nation another facebook group!
Have a great day! Pucky the Whale will live for ever!