The conversation regarding the NHL’s return to Winnipeg, and whether that move bodes well for the return of the Whalers to Hartford, has been going strong for almost a week. Now Howard Baldwin, former owner of the NHL Whalers and present chairman of Whalers Sports & Entertainment (which runs the Connecticut Whale) has weighed in. Here’s an except from Baldwin’s op-ed in the Hartford Business Journal:
Like Hartford, Winnipeg was an original World Hockey Association city. Like Hartford, Winnipeg was one of four WHA franchises that merged with the NHL in 1981. Like Hartford, Winnipeg lost its NHL team in the mid-‘90s. And like Hartford, Winnipeg developed a plan and a passion to get back to the NHL.
If it can happen there, why not here?
Winnipeg sent a message of success to the NHL. Their American Hockey League franchise, the Manitoba Moose averaged more than 8,000 fans over the past two years and more than 7,700 for the past four years. We salute their efforts to showcase the fan and corporate interest in hockey in their market, and congratulate the management of True North Sports and Entertainment for successfully returning the City of Winnipeg to the NHL.
Connecticut Sports Law Featured Columnist Dan Canavan has also covered the potential return of the Whalers in detail: