Could the NHL be returning to Hartford?

Could the NHL be returning to Hartford?


BREAKING NEWS.COULD PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY BE ON ITS WAY BACK TO CONNECTICUT… AFTER A TWO-DECADE ABSENCE?THE GOVERNOR AND MAYOR OF HARTFORD ARE MAKING A “POWER PLAY” TO DO JUST THAT. 3 THEY’RE ROLLING OUT THE WELCOME MAT FOR THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS.GOOD EVENING, I’M DARREN KRAMER.I’M ANNE CRAIG. THE ISLANDERS MAY BE WITHOUT A PLACE TO PLAY AFTER “NEXT” SEASON.WE HAVE TWO REPORTS ON THIS BREAKING NEWS…… BEGINNING WITH CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT MARK DAVIS, LIVE IN HARTFORD. MARK. IT HAS BEEN TWENTY YEARS SINCE THE NHL HARTFORD WHALERS LEFT CONNECTICUT… LEAVING THE STATE, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE GOLF TOURNAMENT, OUT OF THE MAJOR LEAGUES… BUT GOVERNOR MALLOY AND HARTFORD MAYOR LUKE BRONIN ARE MAKING A PLAY TO BRING THE NHL BACK TO THE STATE. IN A LETTER TO THE OWNERS OF THE ISLANDERS…. MALLOY AND BRONIN SAY; “HARTFORD’S XL CENTER IS AN OPTION FOR YOUR INTERIM USE.. OF COURSE, AS WE PERSUE THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE BUILDING INTO TODAY’S NHL STANDARDS, WE WOULD SUGGEST THE BUILDING AS A LONG TERM SOLUTION TO YOUR NEEDS.” THEY ALSO MAKE THE CASE THAT GREATER HARTFORD AND NEW HAVEN, WITH 3 MILLION PEOPLE WITHIN AN HOURS DRIVE OF THE XL CENTER… IS ALREADY A HOCKEY LOVING AREA WITH WHALERS FANS STILL ENERGETIC SOME 20 YEARS AFTER THE TEAM LEFT. THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE SAYS THIS IS AN INITIAL LETTER AND THEY HOPE TO HAVE FURTHER CONVERSATIONS WITH THE ISLANDERS. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE HARTFORD WHALERS… IT’S IN THE PAST TENSE. THE N-H-L TEAM LAST PLAYED IN CONNECTICUT 20 YEARS AGO THIS APRIL.SPORTZEDGE’S JOHN PIERSON IS HERE WITH SOME OF THOSE MEMORIES.JOHN. 3 DARREN, ANNE.I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO COVER THE WHALERS BEFORE THEY LEFT TOWN.THE WHALERS PLAYED AT THE OLD “HARTFORD CIVIC CENTER.”..THE FRANCHISE SPENT OVER 20 YEARS IN HARTFORD– FIRST IN THE OLD WHA THEN EVENTUALLY THE NHL… THE TEAMS BEST DAYS CAME IN THE MID TO LATE 80’S…LED BY GUYS LIKE RON FRANCIS..KEVIN DINEEN AND ULF SAMUELSSON… NONE OF THOSE GUYS WERE AROUND WHEN THE WHALE PLAYED ITS FINAL HOME GAME ON APRIL 13TH 1997…A GAME THE WHALERS WON 2-1…WEEKS AFTER THE GAME, A DEVELOPER FROM SIMSBURY ANNOUNCED HE’S PUTTING TOGETHER A PLAN TO KEEP THE TEAM IN THE STATE — THAT WAS LATER ABANDONED.THE TEAM EVENTUALY LEFT FOR NORTH CAROLINA… AND IS NOW THE “CAROLINA HURRICANES.”SO WHAT’S NEXT… WE’LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE.WE’LL KEEP YOU POSTED ON HOW THINGS ARE GOING. JOHN PIERSON, NEWS 8. YOU CAN READ GOVERNOR MALLOY AND MAYOR BRONIN’S FULL LETTER TO THE ISLANDERS ON OUR WEBSITE — WTNH DOT COM AND ON THE FREE NEWS 8 APP.

8 thoughts on “Could the NHL be returning to Hartford?

  1. I doubt that Hartford will get it's own NHL team.

    The Whalers left because they couldn't get enough fans in a region where University of Connecticut basketball (both men's and women's) are the dominant wintertime spectator sport.

    If Hartford does get NHL hockey, it would likely be three or four Boston Bruins' home games being played there each year (one pre-season game and two or three regular-season games).

  2. It's just a shame because Boston's stranglehold on the area. Boston won't allow it and Jeremy Jacobs is high up on the NHL executive committee. I just can't see it happening with Jacobs at the helm. If Hartford has an arena and owner it could work. Just too many obstacles though. It isn't like Winnipeg. Winnipeg wasn't infringing on anyone's territory.

  3. Since the NHL debuted the Vegas Golden Knights expansion as it’s 31st team, maybe the whalers would be reintroduced as an expansion team to balance the conferences.

  4. The Whalers had a great team logo but they were in the wrong city as Hartford's population shrunk and its local economy also declined considerably in the 1990s.
    Also, the fact that an agreement could not be reached between the owner and political leaders on a new building along with its close geographic proximity to Boston and the New York area teams didn't help matters, either.
    Seeing as Seattle's ownership group is prepared to pay a $650 million dollar expansion fee to get an NHL franchise soon, it's obvious that the Hartford area will never have another NHL team based on those dollar figures alone.
    That said, the Carolina Hurricanes aren't doing much better in terms of fan attendance either so they would probably make more money moving to Houston to create a natural "Battle of Texas" rivalry with Dallas.
    If that were to happen, then the Nashville Predators would logically have to move over to the Eastern Conference in order to balance out the conferences (Seattle is guaranteed to become the 32nd NHL franchise and obviously play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference).

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