The Athletic (subscription needed) asked their beat reporters to share the best book on their team and Scott Burnside picked this for the Hurricanes:
The Hartford Whalers: Images of Sports | Brian Codagnone
This book, which published 10 years after the Whalers’ 1997 relocation and rebirth as the Carolina Hurricanes, is described as a pictorial tribute to their NHL history in Hartford.
Traditional Nate Silver post with lots of numbers and charts trying to answer why Canada hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in 20 years. Mostly it boils down to bad luck but Silver looks at redistributing NHL teams to align with fan support, which mostly means lots of new teams in Canada.
Gordie Howe Turns 85 Today
A note from February: MSG, and Comcast Spectacor, the new management of the XL Center, signed a new agreement to keep the Whale in Hartford for a least three years. Great news. Bonus note: MSG “contemplated a name change because the company wanted to distance itself from Baldwin’s rebranding.
The details from the NY Post report:
Despite admitting last summer that it is “unlikely” NHL hockey would return to his state, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy is not giving up on the slapshot dream, sources said.
The Democrat has formed a group to look into the possibility of bringing a team back to the Constitution State and has approached at least one deep-pocketed potential buyer of a team, sources tell The Post.
Jeff Jacobs writing in the Courant about Don Quixote’s demise and apologizing for his small rule in it:
Where I erred so badly in 2010 was underestimating how much major-league damage he could do in a minor-league market. He burned through money and goodwill like nobody’s business. He raised plenty of cash for the outdoor WinterFest and the AHL team, but he spent plenty more.
So much for all those plans for a new XL Center and Don Quixote triumphly returning the NHL to Hartford. The Hartford Courant reports the Rangers have taken back management of the Connecticut Whale from Baldwin’s Whalers Sports & Entertainment:
Sources have told The Courant the team will play in Hartford next season, but the Rangers have told WSE officials they will not be involved in the day-to-day operation and marketing of the franchise.
Great column by Jeff Jacobs on Howard’s exit and the future of hockey in Hartford. Spoiler: Professional hockey is probably done.
Even though I’ve been hard on Howard it’s important to note his failure won’t lead to the death of the AHL in Hartford (if it comes to that of course).
Sensibility from Dannel:
…Malloy added, Connecticut is not close to landing an NHL franchise. “I don’t lie awake at night wondering how that’s going to happen,” Malloy said. “Because, it’s not going to happen in the short run.”
I attended a game over Christmas break and the crowd was a decent size, but the team is averaging less than 4,500 fans a game.
Someone alert Don Quixote! Crawford in an interview with the Canadian paper The Intelligencer:
“Toronto could handle another NHL team — probably two more,” said Crawford. “But there are three NHL teams within 90 minutes of Hartford, plus basketball, football and baseball. Winnipeg proved they were a viable market with quite a few sellouts for their AHL team.
Howard Baldwin, not satisfied with an average of 4,700 per home game this year, is back chasing rainbows and attempting to implant delusions of grander and sugar plum fairies into the minds of Connecticut hockey fans. Want a new arena complex and the NHL by 2017? Howard will do it! If you believe that I still haven’t been unable to unload my ocean front property in Arizona.