The Hartford Whalers were much more than simply an NHL franchise. They were an icon and a treasure. Their classic green uniforms. The logo. The Brass Bonanza. Priceless. They deserved to be saved. Or in this case, resurrected. The vile and contemptible Peter Karmanos Jr.'s classless act of stripping Hartford of their beloved team should've been stopped. Gary Bettman is indeed The Clown Prince Of Incompetence for hardly making an effort of stepping in and circumventing the Whalers' demise. The late great John A. Ziegler Jr. wouldn't have allowed it. Unlike his successor, he understood and respected hockey tradition. He knew far well that New England is synonymous with hockey. He was aware of the region's passion for the sport. Technically, it consists of the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut & Rhode Island. But you might as well throw in the Mid-Atlantic states (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware & Maryland) and form a Hockey Megalopolis.
According to the Nielsen Media 2007-2008 Local Market Estimates, the Hartford - New Haven, CT area ranks 29th. Higher than Nashville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Las Vegas or Buffalo. So why no Whalers? If you are simply going by city population, then you are missing The Big Picture. Hartford's proximity to New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire & Massachusetts. The residents of the neighboring states would make a short commute and attend NHL games. Similar to Philadelphia's TV market which serves the entire Delaware Valley, The Hartford Whalers could be beamed across the adjacent states of NY, NJ, MA, NH, MA & RI. The television market has vast growth potential. It can work. With a little hard work and planning, we can once again have The Kelly Green, Blue & White. But before all that can happen or even be attempted, there is one belated action which must be performed. It is an eagerly anticipated event for longsuffering NHL fans. That labor of love, off course, is the immediate and unconditional impeachment of Gary Bettman.
The Nielson Media Estimates rank Buffalo as a smaller market. It is not meant ot suggest anything except state fact. The region is a great hockey hotbed. The City Of Buffalo has a rich hockey history and the Sabres enjoy some of the most dedicated and passinate fans.