The Four Leaf Clover
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     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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 29, 2010  04:14 PM ET

AHLFan, I have been to one Canes game, and I agree the atmosphere was very good. A lot of that has to do with an awesome new building, which you have, and that's because it was already being built for NC State. You say, "Peter Karmanos decision to move South was based on sound economic trends that only a fool would ignore." Actually, he plan was not to move south but to move due west. He had his sights on Columbus. When he met with the city, it only took a few days for them to realize what a snake he is, and they kicked him out of town. The headline for the Columbus Dispatch that day was, "Beat it, Pete!" They would rather set their efforts on an expansion team with local ownership rather than deal with him. (How I wish Hartford did the same in 1994, but that's a different story that deals with the disgusting actions of our fat-headed, self-serving governor Lowell Weicker at the time.) Karmanos scrambled and had to find a place fast or the NHL was going to put Hartford in the schedule for the 1997-98 season. The main reason he ended up in Raleigh is you had a building already under construction. It was amazingly good luck for Raleigh, but had that building not been in the works, the Whalers would have been forced to play another year in Hartford, and who knows what might have happened.

All that being said, I cannot wait for the rivalry of the Whalers and Hurricanes to erupt in a few years. That will be beyond awesome.

July 30, 2010  04:23 AM ET

oh my god you should spellcheck. Are you using English as a second language or are you intentionally perpetuating hockey fan stereotypes b/c these are pretty much seventh grade level language skills.

July 30, 2010  12:56 PM ET

Unfortunately, the reply by "Iprefer" is too typical of Canes fans...defensive and abusive. Canes fans love to think that Karmanos CHOSE Raleigh when, in fact, he SETTLED for it. He had stupidly cut his ties to Hartford and moved without any venue committed, thinking that cities would be begging for his team. When his chosen destination, Columbus told him to go to Hell, and nobody else was interested, he stumbled upon the possibility in Raleigh. Whalers59, however, is mistaken in thinking PK would be forced to remain in Hartford. It was too late for that. He had cut the ties.
He was stuck in limbo. Then, in the last second, the Raleigh possibility opened up and he JUMPED on it.

August 2, 2010  12:26 AM ET

As a NY hockey fan who bleeds green I am so bored with the blandness of today's NHL. No team character, fan-aloof, artificially processed, over produced, red/black colored schemed *yawn* because it sells, traditionless, plain white toast hockey. I don't hate bettman but he's not a hockey guy. I respect the fact his job was to make money and strengthen the league in tha respect but now he's cutting past the fat and far into the bone.

I want my hockey back. I want the Whale back.

Despite living 5 minutes from the isles, working 15 minutes from the rangers, and having the all three area teams on TV almost every night -- I find it hard to root for these teams. They have it too easy, biggest market and all the trappings.

Losing all those hockey fans should be regrettable to the NHL, not to mention the rivalries with Boston and NY. Did Bettman missed this or just not care? I love walking past or into the NHL store on 5th ave and seeing whaler merch on sale next to 'hawks, rangers and other active teams. Everyone in there seems to wear whale gear all the time too. Love it! Although they may just be retro hockey-hipsters. Still love it!

As for raleigh -- glad you like hockey and have a team. hopefully for you karmanos doesn't pull the same trick again someday.

Looking forward to the Whaler Fan fest on 8/14

 
August 3, 2010  08:35 PM ET

I'll be there on the 14th with my son. We think it's gonna be packed and are planning on getting there a couple of hours early.
I can't believe the number of former Whaler players who have agreed to be there!

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