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Who Were The Hartford Whalers?

The Hartford Whalers Joined the NHL through the WHA-NHL merger in 1979. They were originally named The New England Whalers and played their home games at the Boston Arena and Boston Garden. They were relocated to Hartford, Connecticut in 1974, and began playing at the Hartford Civic Center.

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Still playing under New England they were forced to change there name upon joining the NHL due to a condition of the merger. Nicknamed the “forever .500s” the Whalers never were never successful during there NHL days, only having three winning seasons over there 18 NHL seasons, missed the playoffs 10 times and won only one playoff series.

This playoff series was won by sweeping the first place Quebec Nordiques in the 1985-86 season but they would lose to the eventual Stanley Cup winners The Montreal Canadiens,

In 1986-1987 the Whalers won there division with 93 points, the highest total the team would achieve.

Why The Whalers Relocated

In 1994, Peter Karmonos, along with partners Thomas Thewes and Jim Rutherford, bought the team and promised to keep them in Hartford for four years, however upset about bad attendance and no corporate support, said that if they could not sell enough season tickets for the 1996-1997 season he would move the team.

Despite the efforts by fans, they failed to sell enough tickets and announced that at the end of the 1996-1997 they would move, and with no new home already in place, it was the first time a team was leaving one place without having a new place to move into.

Hartford Whalers Notable Players

Paul Coffey D 1996-1997
Dave Keon 1976-1982
Gordie Howe RW 1977-1980
Bobby Hull LW 1980
Ron Francis C 1981-1991
Chris Pronger D
Bobby Holik C
Slyvain Turgeon C
Jean-Sebastien Giguere G
Geoff Sanderson LW
Glen Wesley D
Craig Adams

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