Hartford Whalers

The Hartford Whalers ( in their time in the World Hockey Association ( 1972-79 ) and New England Whalers ) is a former ice hockey team, which was active from 1979 to 1997 in the National Hockey League. In 1997, the team relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, and changed his name to Carolina Hurricanes.

The team colors changed over the years several times. Recently they were navy blue, silver and green.

  • 2.1 Sporting achievements
  • 2.2 Awards and All-Star Team nominations
  • 3.1 World Hockey Association
  • 3.2 National Hockey League
  • 6.1 team captains
  • 6.2 Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • 6.3 Blocked numbers
  • 6.4 First-round voting rights


The franchise was opened in 1971, when the World Hockey Association (WHA ) announced that a team should be based in the New England region. The entrepreneur, Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, W. Godfrey Wood and William Edwin Barnes were owners of the New England Whalers, as they named the team and chose Boston as the home of the team. Before the first season in the newly formed league you got a lot of players from the League NHL competition. Among them were Tom Webster, Ted Green, the first captain of the team was, Rick Ley, Jim Dorey and Al Smith.

The time in the WHA ( 1972-79 )

The WHA launched in 1972 /73 and the Whalers were the best team in the regular season and stormed through the playoffs and won the title, the AVCO World Trophy. However, the trophy was not yet completed and you had to celebrate without Cup.

The next two and a half years they played in Boston and Springfield, but the hockey boom in Boston and from the audience's interest was increased after, so it was decided within the New England region to Connecticut to draw. A State -based with the exception of some unterklassigen teams in New Haven, no hockey team. It was decided to Hartford, where the games were played absofort. The team remained until 1997, with a short break late seventies was renovated as the ice stadium. Then it moved to North Carolina.

The Whalers were a successful team, never missed the playoffs three times occupied the first place in their division, but the WHA title they could not get. You could have a very balanced squad and they managed a coup when they ice hockey legend Gordie Howe commit 1977.

In 1978 she was once again in the finals, led by 50 -year-old Gordie Howe, to move. After the season, you could still commit with André Lacroix the best scorer of all time WHA.

The Whalers were considered one of the strongest teams in the WHA and were among the four teams that joined after the dissolution of the WHA in 1979 the NHL. Many players from the WHA took the Whalers in the NHL. So even Gordie Howe, who ultimately his career with 52 years ended in the Whalers.

Team Records (WHA )

  • Most games: Rick Ley 478 Games
  • Top goals: Tom Webster 220 goals
  • Most Assists: Larry Pleau 215 Assists
  • Most points: Tom Webster 425 points (220 goals 205 assists)
  • Most penalty minutes: Rick Ley 716 penalty minutes
  • Most wins ( goalkeeper ): Al Smith 141 victories

In the NHL ( 1979-97 )

With its entry into the NHL in 1979, the New England Whalers in Hartford Whalers named to. But the Whalers were never as successful as they had in the days of the WHA. In the 18 years in the NHL, they were able to complete only three seasons with a positive balance victories, missed the playoffs ten times and only won one playoff series. It originated in the time great rivalry with the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers.

The 18 years were dominated by catastrophic transfers, especially when you Stars traded for mediocre players to strengthen the team in depth. So you transferred Mark Howe, son of Gordie Howe, and top scorer Mike Rogers in various swap transactions against players who could never convince. Very often there were transfers, which sounded very promising of the name, such as. Example, Chris Pronger against Brendan Shanahan, but it was often the case that the player was not happy in Hartford and left the team as soon as possible

A short time it seemed as if the tide would turn for the better. 1986 could be in the playoffs past the first round and 1987 could be led by Ron Francis and superstar goalie Mike Liut win the division title. But the team slumped again in the lower regions of the table.

The likely schadhafteste moment was when you transferred 1991 Superstar Ron Francis to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The player you got, could again do not meet the expectations and Ron Francis won with Pittsburgh twice the Stanley Cup. The fans responded extremely angry with the personnel management of the Whalers, so the general manager of the team had to go and Pittsburgh got a new job.

1992 could qualify for the playoffs and failed in the first round only in a dramatic seventh game in the second extra time against the Montreal Canadiens as Yvon Corriveau alone with only the keeper of the Canadiens hit the crossbar.

In the last five years in Hartford is no longer played in the playoffs, but had with Sean Burke, Geoff Sanderson, Pat Verbeek and Andrew Cassels some stars in the ranks.

Team Records (NHL)

  • Most Games: 714 games Ron Francis
  • Top goals: Ron Francis 264 goals
  • Most Assists: Ron Francis 557 assists
  • Most points: Ron Francis 821 points
  • Most penalty minutes: Torrie Robertson 1368 penalty minutes
  • Most games ( goalkeeper ): Sean Burke 256 Games
  • Most wins ( goalkeeper ): Mike Liut 115 victories
  • Most shutouts: Mike Liut 13 shutouts

Departure from Hartford

The main reason for the departure from Hartford was the problematic market position. Within a small radius four other NHL teams were still home, making it difficult to find sponsors. The arena was still in good condition, but it was compared to other arenas too small and also ridiculed by the competition, because it was part of a shopping center. Since many teams moved into huge multi -purpose arena, the small stadium could not keep up.

In summer 1994, Compuware founder Peter Karmanos bought the Hartford Whalers for $ 47.5 million and guaranteed that the Whalers would remain at least four years in Hartford. After buying Karmanos had to take care of two important economic issues at the Whalers. He was frustrated by the lackluster image of the team and that there were very few potential sponsors in the area, so he announced in 1996 that the team Hartford leaves, if not at least 11,000 season tickets are sold for next season. The threat was said to be a huge marketing campaign and you actually reached before the season the goal and Karmanos that the team this season still remains safely in Hartford.

Additionally, the Karmanos bothered about that a new arena for the Whalers is built. In early 1997, there was a positive progressive discussions between the Whalers, the State of Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland and a $ 147,500,000 expensive arena and an agreement to have been close. But the negotiations broke down because you refused the Whalers to reimburse up to 45 $ one million of its loss, while the new arena is built. As a result, the lead on 26 March 1997 announced that the team will leave Hartford and possibly moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. For the first time gave a U.S. sports team a move known to have without a new hometown. The fans were shocked and Governor Rowland suspected that he did not want to keep the Whalers in Hartford, but saw the possibility that a football franchise in the NFL could be built in Hartford. In fact, in 1999 moved a team from the NFL in the New England region, but not in Hartford, but in the vicinity of Boston, the New England Patriots.

On 13 April 1997, the Whalers completed their last game in Hartford against Tampa Bay Lightning. We won 2-1 and captain Kevin Dineen scored the decisive goal.

The Whalers were never able to win the Stanley Cup and not more than reached the second round of the playoffs. Despite the poor playoff record and a rather small fan base, they got all the support they could get, and the fans of the team were badly hit when it was announced that the team would move to Carolina. To complicate it all over the leadership of the city of Hartford owns the rights to the Whalers logo. What prevents in computer games (though in EA SPORTS NHL 2001 is the blue jersey for the Carolina Hurricanes present) or the Whalers their jerseys appear and no replica jerseys can be produced for fans of sporting goods manufacturers. On the other hand, there is thus a chance that it will eventually re- enter a team named Hartford Whalers.

In the 2012/13 NHL season, Jean -Sébastien Giguère of the Colorado Avalanche and Chris Pronger of the Philadelphia Flyers are the only two active players who have played for the Hartford Whalers yet. Craig Adams, who was pulled in the NHL Entry Draft in 1996 in the ninth round of the Whalers, was the last draft pick in the history of the team and is now active for the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, he made ​​his debut in the NHL until the 2000/01 season for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Possible NHL return

In recent years there has been an increasing number of voices that would support a return of hockey to Hartford. In 2005, the entrepreneur Lawrence servant of God declared that he would be interested to buy a ailing NHL team and to settle it in Hartford, where he would build a new hockey arena. In April 2006, said the ministers of God, that he would certainly be interested in the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins are not particularly profitable in Pittsburgh and they need a new stadium, so a move would offer itself. God's servants and the Mayor of Hartford gathered information from a trip to Minnesota, where there was a similar scenario already. By 1993, the North Stars played there before they moved to Dallas. 2000 was built there with the Minnesota Wild, a new NHL team.

Honors and Achievements

Sporting successes

The most successful season the team was the 1972/73 season in the World Hockey Association, in the New England Whalers for the first and only time the title of the WHA, which won the Avco World Trophy. Once they were the best team in the regular season with 94 points, also won the Eastern Division, they sat down in the play- offs in three rounds and eventually won by a 4-1 win in the series against the Winnipeg Jets Title.

In the following two seasons succeeded the Whalers to defend their respective division titles in the Eastern Division. However, they did not both times in the play-offs beyond the first round. In the season 1977/78 after the divisional structure had been dissolved in the league, the Whalers second place in the regular season and in the play- offs managed to re- qualify for the final. There, however, they failed to the Jets, who won the series in four games.

In the NHL winning the Stanley Cup for the Hartford Whalers did not happen. They celebrated their only success 1986/87 when they won the Adams Division. Overall, the team was able to qualify in 18 seasons eight times for the play- offs, but they succeeded only once, in 1986, with a victory against the Nordiques de Québec through to the second round.

Awards and All-Star Team nominations

Between 1972 and 1997 it managed a total of only six players to win an individual award, including five in the World Hockey Association.

* Together with Charlie Simmer and Danny Gare

In the first season of the WHA striker Terry Caffery succeeded in winning the Lou Kaplan Trophy as the best rookie of the season. He had, however, already excellent in the preseason as the best rookie in the American Hockey League. It was also the coach of the team, Jack Kelley, awarded the Howard Baldwin Trophy. It was not until four years later won George Lyle as the best rookie the next trophy for the team. Dave Keon in 1977 and 1978 with Paul Deneau Trophy awarded for the fairest player and is the only player of the team who ever won a trophy twice.

The last trophy for the Whalers in the WHA won Rick Ley, who was honored in 1979 as the best defender of the league with the Dennis A. Murphy Trophy.

After recording of the franchise in the National Hockey League Blaine Stoughton was in the 1979/80 season with 56 goals tied with Charlie Simmer of the Los Angeles Kings and Danny Gare of the Buffalo Sabres the top scorer in the league. However, it was awarded for this performance no official trophy. This was introduced with the Maurice Richard Trophy in 1999.

The first and only individual trophy, won a player of the Hartford Whalers ever in the NHL, was the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, was awarded the 1987 Center Doug Jarvis. He had denied until 11 October 1987, a total 964 NHL games in a row and was awarded the trophy for his extraordinary endurance.

In the same year the 'keeper Mike Liut succeeded in the only vocation in an NHL All-Star team.

Within eleven years, 1983-1994, however, succeeded in the same five players in the Whalers inclusion in the NHL All- Rookie Team. The first player was Sylvain Turgeon, who was drafted in 1983 's second and scored in his first season, 72 points in 76 games. The last player was the defender Chris Pronger, also drafted in the second place, which is still active in the NHL today.

Season statistics

World Hockey Association

Note: GP = Games, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals Scored, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalty minutes

National Hockey League

Note: GP = Games, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals Scored, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalty minutes


General Manager

To be mentioned players

Team captains

  • Ted Green ( 1972-75 )
  • Rick Ley ( 1975-81 )
  • Mike Rogers and Dave Keon (1981 /82)
  • Russ Anderson (1982 /83)
  • Mark Johnson (1983 /84)
  • Ron Francis ( 1984-90 )
  • No captain (1990/ 91)
  • Randy Ladouceur (1991 /92)
  • Pat Verbeek ( 1992-95 )
  • Brendan Shanahan (1995 /96)
  • Kevin Dineen (1996/ 97)

Members of the Hockey Hall of Fame

  • Gordie Howe
  • Mark Howe
  • Dave Keon
  • Brendan Shanahan

Blocked numbers

  • 2 Rick Ley
  • 9 Gordie Howe
  • 19 John McKenzie

After moving to Carolina, the numbers 2 and 19 are awarded again

First-round voting rights

The list does not include draft picks from the WHA.

Current franchises: Anaheim Ducks | Boston Bruins | Buffalo Sabres | Calgary Flames | Carolina Hurricanes | Chicago Blackhawks | Colorado Avalanche | Columbus Blue Jackets | Dallas Stars | Detroit Red Wings | Edmonton Oilers | Florida Panthers | Los Angeles Kings | Minnesota Wild | Montreal Canadiens | Nashville Predators | New Jersey Devils | New York Islanders | New York Rangers | Ottawa Senators | Philadelphia Flyers | Phoenix Coyotes | Pittsburgh Penguins | St. Louis Blues | San Jose Sharks | Tampa Bay Lightning | Toronto Maple Leafs | Vancouver Canucks | Washington Capitals | Winnipeg Jets

Former and relocated franchises: Atlanta Flames | Atlanta Thrashers | California / Oakland (Golden) Seals | Cleveland Barons | Colorado Rockies | Hamilton Tigers | Hartford Whalers | Kansas City Scouts | Minnesota North Stars | Montreal Maroons | Montreal Wanderers | New York / Brooklyn Americans | Ottawa Senators (1893 -1934 ) | Philadelphia Quakers | Pittsburgh Pirates | Quebec Bulldogs | Quebec Nordiques | St. Louis Eagles | Winnipeg Jets ( 1972-1996 )

Game times: 1972/73 | 1973/74 | 1974/75 | 1975/76 | 1976/77 | 1977/78 | 1978/79

Franchises: Alberta Oilers (1972-1973), Edmonton Oilers (1973-1979) | Chicago Cougars (1972-1975) | Cincinnati Stingers (1975-1979) | Cleveland Crusaders (1972-1976) | Denver Spurs (1975 ), Ottawa Civics (1976 ) | Houston Aeros (1972-1978) | Indianapolis Racers (1974-1979) | Los Angeles Sharks (1972-1974), Michigan Stags (1974-1975), Baltimore Blades ( 1975) | Minnesota Fighting Saints ( 1972-1977 ) | New England Whalers (1972-1979) | New York Raiders (1972-1973), New York Golden Blades ( 1973), Jersey Knights ( 1973-1974 ), San Diego Mariners ( 1974-1977 ) | Ottawa Nationals ( 1972-1973 ), Toronto Toros (1973-1976), Birmingham Bulls (1976-1979) | Philadelphia Blazers (1972-1973), Vancouver Blazers (1973-1975), Calgary Cowboys (1975-1977) | Phoenix Roadrunners (1974-1977) | Quebec Nordiques (1972-1979) | Winnipeg Jets (1972-1979)

  • Hockey Association ( National Hockey League)
  • Hockey Association (World Hockey Association )
  • Sports (Connecticut)
  • Hartford ( Connecticut )