One of the best ways to keep the Whaler name alive is through this petition started by “The Whaler Guys”. This petition will ask the Connecticut State Legislature to look into creating a Hartford Whaler vanity license plate. Now every Whaler fan and Hartford Hockey fan can show off the most well designed logo in the sporting world.
The initiative began as an idea at the “Bring Back the Whalers Night” at the Bristol Blues game just a couple of weeks ago. After great coverage from the Bristol Press and WFSB Channel 3 it was decided to make an online petition to try and get the state legislature involved. It has not even been a full 24 hours and already the petition has almost reached its required 400 signatures. I think to really prove the interest in the license plate the petition needs to go higher than 400.
The top ten NHL selling Whaler logo would be issued on the license plate and be available to all Connecticut licensed drivers for a vanity plate fee. It is events and opportunities like this that show there is a desire and love for the NHL to return, especially as the Whalers. Nearing 20 years since the team played in Hartford there just doesn’t seem to be any end to the interest in Hartford’s only major league team.
If you are interested in signing the petition you can do so by clicking on this link.
Recently in Canton’s Corner, on Howlings.net, Gerry Cantlon mentioned that one of the arena plans presented by the Capital Region Development Authority was scrapped. The 500 million dollar brand new arena plan. He believes that signals the end of any NHL hopes but that is just not the case.
Unfortunately its a common thought that Hartford needs a new arena to get the NHL. That is often the thought of many, who are concerned more with provincial ideas. In reality the 500 million dollar plan was never really much of a reality.
There should be no surprise here and no Hartford Hockey fan should be signaling a white flag. There was just no way a new arena was going to happen for several reasons.
Stadium Consultant International, who put the plans together, have publicly said that there would be no difference in financial operating costs between the 500 million dollar plan and the 250 million dollar plan. In other words if you could get a new car for half the price with all the same bells and whistles, why wouldn’t you?
Michael Friemuth, head of the CRDA has said publicly that the 250 million dollar arena plan will not be a barrier to the NHL. He’s been on a television show I host three times. Believe me I’ve asked him that question.
The current footprint of the XL Center has more square footage than Madison Square Garden and TD Bank North in Boston, that certainly means there is room to make an old arena new.
Remember in 2011 when Howard Baldwin Sr. said that the bones of the XL Center were strong. He was right, the 250 million upgrade would essentially give the XL Center the amenities and seating it needs to compete in the NHL market today. Even if the NHL doesn’t come back to Hartford the plan is needed to keep the building working.
Even if the NHL doesn’t come for a few years after the plan is implemented it still will only be 15 million dollars away from being completely NHL ready. The NHL has been to Hartford, they aren’t going to laugh at this arena plan, they are aware of what is happening in Hartford. The NHL is no longer a pipe dream.
Now, I never tell anyone that the NHL is definitely coming back but I do say that Hartford has a chance and a valid chance that will take some hard work, a lot of money and a lot of luck, but it without a doubt exists.