This April 13th 2010 will commemorate the last game of a franchise that today still has a possibility of rising from the ashes of a poorly managed NHL league. The Hartford Whalers have been long gone since their last game in 1997 and not everyone believes the city will either wrestle away a current team from another city or be granted a franchise from the NHL.
However the fans have not gone anywhere. Large groups of former and new fans provide strong support that still marches on and every year an event is held that former player's owners and possible new owners take interest in. The Fanniversary which is held by the Hartford Whalers Booster Club every year will have the former and possibly future owner Howard Baldwin in attendance. Mr. Baldwin has taken up office space in Hartford to begin his campaign to return the NHL to Hartford. He also is currently involved with the management of the XL Center. He also is looking into marketing ideas for using the Whaler Logo in clothing and specifically in making and selling Whaler Jersey's again.
The largest hurdle for Hartford still remains the need for a new state of the art arena. Without this the NHL may not look Hartford's way. Hartford has been on the move in the last decade building the Uconn Football Stadium Rentschler Field, The Connecticut Science Center and the Convention Center. These new venues are all helping to bring in revenue for the surrounding cities and Hartford.
The amount of support that exists in the Hartford area as well as around the country is continually gathering up a ground swell of supporters on Facebook, WhalerNation.com and WhalerWatch.com. While a time frame has not been met or set it seems too unlikely that 13 years of continued and increasing support can not be ignored for ever. The question will still remain in the hands of the NHL and whether they will concede and give back the franchise that probably should never have been moved to begin with.
If one thing is certain it is that you can't walk down any Hartford Street with a Whaler Logo on without someone yelling out the famous battle cry: "LETS GO WHALE!"