Thursday, August 10, 2006


Oh Yeah.. the Whalers

Now, I realize that I am generally behind on many thinks. Let's just get that out of the way. But, apparently the hockey season is well over with and the Stanley Cup concluded with the Carolina Hurricanes winning it all. That means just one thing to the folks from Connecticut: The Hartford Whalers won the cup!!!!!!!

That's right! The Hartford Whalers, once known for aquring hockey great Bobby Hull from Winnipeg for future considerations (note: the considerations are not connected to witholding information on the whereabouts of great composer Jack Say), were moved to Carolina where they became the winners of the 2006 Stanley Cup.

While the Whalers never won a Stanly Cup for the city, Hartford certainly seemed to embrace the team... one year too late. Not a single resident of the great state of Connecticut seems to have anything but fond memories of the time they "thought" about going to a Whalers game. Especially now that they're gone. To understand the state of Whaler "fans," just think about that girl in junior high school, or high school (for those of you who went), who you made fun of relentlesly. Then, you find out at your class reunion that she is that Natalie Portman from junior high. Yeah, and you're "that?" John Smith from junior high school. This is what it's like in Hartford. You "totally could have banged her," right? Well, we totally could have hoisted the Cup.

Well, High and Inside decided to talk to a few local New Englanders to see if we can prove our point. Here are a few of the responses we got:

Chris Gorchan (Westfield, CT): "The funny thing about the Whalers was that everyone had a, 'Dude, I saw Shanny (Whaler captain Brendan Shanahan) at the...' story. No matter where you went!" (Most of the answers we got started with, "A funny thing about the Whalers...")

Stephanie Maxfield (Durham, CT): "Yeah, I remember them. My dad had one of their shirts. He used to wear it when he changed the oil in his car. So, when I think of the Whalers, I think of oil. But, not lube."

Mike Lopez (Hartford, CT): "Ron Francis, Pat Verbeek, Gordie Howe, Rick Ley... Um, that's all I can think of at the moment. And that's because I'm reading it off of that paper in your hand."

Steve Markman (Wallingford, CT): "My favorite movie was Jaws 2. There's no movie called 'Whalers 2.' Is there?"

Tyler Johnson (Hartford, CT): "My Uncle was a season ticket holder to all the events at the Hartford Civic Center. His top three included: Papermania, Wrestlemania, and the Jingle Jam (featuring Another Bad Creation). Notice I didn't mention the Whalers. Though, they do make for a cool vintage t-shirt!"

Chris Mooshan (Bristol, CT): "Attica! Attica!"

So, there you have it. A small sample size of New Englanders who miss the Whalers dearly. Maybe one day Connecticut can get a piece of that NHL pie again. But, until then, whatever happened to the New Haven Nighthawks?

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