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connecticut whale

Hartford Gets Its Whale Back, Sort Of

No, the Hurricanes aren't moving back to Connecticut. But Howard Baldwin, the former owner of the Hartford Whalers, is taking control of the Rangers' AHL Wolf Pack affiliate, and at some point this season, will be changing the team's name to the Connecticut Whale. (The Garden will continue to own team.) It's all part of Baldwin's plan to generate enough support to bring NHL hockey back to Hartford. Among his ideas: a ten-day "Hartford Hockey Fest," for which an outdoor rink will be built at UConn's Rentschler Field. (The Whale will play at least one outdoor game during the festival.)

NHL hockey in Hartford is a long shot, but at least the Whalers Booster Club — which explains in this neat documentary why they never really got behind the Wolf Pack — can support its local team again. Said Al Victor, who runs the booster club: "Now fans know, that if they buy tickets for The Whale, they are telling the NHL that the passion to support hockey is still here."

And now, just because, here's "Brass Bonanza":


Ex-Whalers Owner Taking Over Hartford AHL Team [AP via NYT]

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Photo: Dave Sandford/Getty Images