Archive for the ‘Whalers’ Category

Baldwin: New Arena not Necessary for NHL Return to Hartford
November 26, 2010

          Howard Baldwin in front of the Hartford Civic Center (now the XL Center)  in the 1970s

There is a new era dawning at the State Capitol with a new Governor taking over in 6 weeks.  Ditto at  Hartford City Hall where a new mayor is making some big changes.  The same story across town at the XL Center, where former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin is back, marketing the state’s newly renamed minor league hockey team, the Connecticut Whale.

It is no secret Baldwin’s ultimate goal is to resurrect the NHL in Hartford.     Make no bones about it, that is one uphill battle, but Baldwin believes it can be done.  During  a taping of Face the State, Baldwin talks about what it will take to restore a Hartford Whalers team here.   He surprised me by saying a new arena isn’t an essential part of the equation, and during the taping he explained why.   His argument  is fascinating, and that should sit well with lawmakers who might be hesitant to help fund a new arena.

You can watch the entire interview with Howard Baldwin this Sunday morning at 11 on Face the State.

Also, Real Hartford has the story of a new Whalers store that just opened on Pratt Street.  http://www.realhartford.org/2010/11/24/storefront-filled-on-pratt-street/

1985-86 Whalers to Reunite
May 12, 2010

You remember…the team finished first in the Adams Division and then were treated to a parade in Downtown Hartford?

Howard Baldwin on “Face the State with Dennis House”
April 12, 2010

In case you missed it, here is former Hartford Whalers owner Howard Baldwin talking about bringing the NHL and the Whalers back to your capital city.

part 1 http://www.wfsb.com/video/23125085/index.html

part 2 http://www.wfsb.com/video/23125231/index.html

Also, as we mentioned on Face the State,  Whalers gear is a hot seller these days.  I noticed this store in Newport , RI (aka Hartford by the sea) selling Whalers merchandise.  The folks there told me they cannot keep with the demand.   Newport is a big destination for people from the Hartford area and in fact all of Connecticut, so it is no surprise.

Bringing Back Your Hartford Whalers
April 8, 2010

This week marks a tough anniversary in Connecticut history.     Thirteen years ago the Hartford Whalers left the capital city, breaking the hearts of fans all across the land of steady habits and beyond.    The loss of the Whalers is still being felt to this day:  no longer does your capital city get a daily mention on ESPN during the hockey season, and stores surrounding the Coliseum are all empty.   Hockey fans from all over the country are no longer coming to hotels in the city to cheer on their home teams from Montreal and Chicago playing road games against our Whalers. 

Since 1997, we’ve heard of various efforts to restore major league sports in our state, and now there is a new plan from a familiar face who knows a little something about bringing a team here.   His name is Howard Baldwin, one of the original owners of the Whalers who moved them from Boston to Hartford 36 years ago.

Baldwin has moved back here with his wife and they have opened an office right near the XL Center.   His plan is to beef up minor league hockey here and they pursue the NHL, all the while using the Whalers name.    It is essential a team be called the Whalers, according to Baldwin.

The man who produced  the movie “Ray” lays out an interesting case for major league hockey in Hartford.   I asked him whether rumors that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is anti-Hartford are true.  Baldwin says “no,” that Bettman wants what is good for the NHL, and Baldwin’s mission is to show his friend that Hartford is good for the NHL.

Baldwin is our guest this Sunday on Face the State.  Tune in at 11AM.

Incidentally, Whalers gear is all the rage right now.  I wore a new Whalers T-shirt to Wrigley Field last year and it got plenty of  “hey, where did you get that” types of questions.

My entourage and me at Wrigley, 2009

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