Hartford Whalers Not Forgotten in NHL Playoffs


With the series between the Boston Bruins and the former Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes), tied at 1 game a piece, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy writes about the rivalry between Boston and Hartford, as well as the aftermath of the Whalers’ departure:

It’s easy to understand why folks in Hartford feel they have a stake in this series. Big league is big league and the Whalers gave Hartford its only taste of the bigs when they skated at the Hartford Civic Center.

The late 1990s were not kind to Hartford. Whistling “Brass Bonanza,” the Whalers packed their hockey bags and moved to North Carolina. Then Bob Kraft cut a phony deal to bring the Patriots to Hartford, where they would play in a taxpayer-financed stadium on a radioactive site that came to be known as Yo Adriaen’s Landing. It was all a ruse, of course. The Patriots never left Foxborough and Connecticut governor John Rowland, who cut the deal with Kraft, wound up in federal prison (on charges having nothing to do with the Patriots debacle).

Although I’m sure Whalers fans will appreciate being remembered, they may not be so appreciative of Shaughnessy referring to Hartford as “America’s File Cabinet.”


  1. I can’t understand how any former Whalers fan can root for the Hurricanes. As Bill Simmons of ESPN aptly analogized with respect to the possibility of Seat Supersonics fans rooting for Oklahoma City Thunder, it would be like rooting for a longstanding girlfriend who left you for a guy with more money.

  2. Dan Fitzgerald says:

    Eric Kuselias of ESPN had the same reaction yesterday on the radio with Mike Tirico when discussing the team formerly known as the Whalers. Tirico’s take was that Hartford is “not a big league city.” Kuselias’ response was that if Columbus is a big league city, so is Harford.

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