FanPost

What price nostalgia?


This isn't really Bruins related, but it's New England hockey, so I'm going to indulge here.

I decided this weekend to show some vintage love and wore my Adams Division t-shirt with a Whalers hat as I wandered aimlessly around the Southie street fair.  On my way there, I saw someone sporting a bright green Ron Francis jersey getting into a car.  It was good vibes all around, and it seems to have worked: this afternoon, Howard Baldwin will announce that he has taken control of the Hartford Wolf Pack, and that by mid-season they will become the Connecticut...

Whale.

See what they did there?  It was long assumed that Baldwin's influence would rechristen the team with the old Whalers name, but reserving the Hartford moniker for a theoretical future NHL franchise.  But some were chafing at the idea that even the nickname would be shared by an AHL club.  So, in comes Hartford's pet name for their boys in green.  And thus I am torn. 

First, any nod whatsoever to the old Whalers that Baldwin can have the Wolf Pack give is a good thing.  It's been clear that the #1 strike against the AHL gaining traction in Hartford has been the Pack's marketing strategy of all but ignoring the city's history with the NHL.  Giving fans a chance to bust out the old colors is a big positive, and giving some slight bit of hope (Dum spiro spero etc.) of the majors will surely boost sales.  But the hope is still just that - hope.  So reserving the full "Hartford Whalers" name seems like a girl preserving her virginity for David Tennant.  Sure, stranger things have happened, but in the meantime, dear...

Now, it's no secret that I fully support the NHL returning to Hartford.  I think there is room for a second New England-based team away from Boston, and the Whalers colors and logo are too iconic to not use.  As someone who mourns for the old team now as a dearly missed former rival, I have no problem with the AHL team being Whalers - they can still use that name if they graduate to the big leagues, and no one outside of Hartford will bat an eye.  But, all things being equal, this is about the Whalers fans themselves.  If they prefer the Whale for this go round, then so be it.  Just as long as they get out there and support them, so before too long us Bostonians have the good ol' Whalers to whip up on regularly again. 

Many FanPosts are written by readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Stanley Cup of Chowder, SB Nation, their sponsors, or business partners.

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