December 29, 2009
Hartford Whalers nostalgia is something sacred 'round these parts, and it's been a good year for it with the release of the "Bleeding Green" documentary on Whalers fans keeping the tradition alive and Reebok's new Whalers gear that hit the market. The best news, however, may have been yet to come.
The Danbury Whalers became a reality today, as the franchise in the new Federal Hockey League signed league documents and a lease agreement with the Danbury Ice Arena in Connecticut. From the official release from the FHL:
In taking the name of the former NHL team which played in Connecticut from 1972-1997 (Hartford Whalers), the Danbury Whalers received the official word of public support from the Hartford Whalers Booster Club. President Al Victor was on hand for the press conference and offered his best wishes for the team saying "Whalers fans have been looking for a place to go to wear their colors, cheer for a team, and feel welcome. This is a good thing and we will support it."
Managing partner Herm Sorcher was a Hartford Whalers die-hard that was devastated when the team relocated and became the Carolina Hurricanes. As he told the New Times last week:
"This was a dream of mine," said Sorcher, who worked in the ticket office for the old Hartford Whalers. "The Whalers coming back to Connecticut kind of hits home. I think the people in this state are going to root for us to succeed. We're beyond happy and proud to be in the city of Danbury. We're not trying to be the Hartford Whalers."
No, not at all. Look at how it says "Danbury" on the logo that completely bites off the old Whalers logo ...
The Federal Hockey League's inaugural season is scheduled to begin in Nov. 2010 with a six-team, 60-game schedule. At least that's the plan; as anyone still waiting for a Quebec Nordiks vs. Detroit Gladiators game can tell you, sometimes these things can be unpredictable. But we're rooting for them; lord knows fans could use a TNA to the NHL's Vince McMahon (to put it in professional wrestling terms, as is our tradition).