Bringing back the Whalers will do more than just make Hartford a major league city again. There are plenty of examples where the Hartford Whalers had crossed over into community involvement and great charity work. The team wasn’t just based in Hartford, it was a part of Hartford.
With that spirit in mind the Whalers Brigade, a group that builds community support for the NHL in Hartford, continues to volunteer and participate in activities that benefit the city in more ways than just sports. The Whalers Brigade has adopted the phrase: “We do more than hockey.” And they do, even the most anti-sports Hartfordite knows that many times sports crosses over to help and support those in need, even if they are just in need of a smile and a hug.
The Whalers Brigade provided another example of that support for Hartford’s community yesterday when they brought Pucky, the Hartford Whalers mascot, to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on Washington Street in Hartford. The children staying in the hospital are too young to remember the Hartford Whalers but they definitely know who Pucky is now. I witnessed plenty of smiles and interest in the 6 ½ foot Whale as he walked the halls of the hospital stopping by rooms to visit and take a picture with his new fans. It didn’t take long for Pucky to develop a trail of small children who followed him from room to room to see who he would visit next.
Its unfortunate that children get sick but they do and the hospital is equipped to hold up to as many as 187 people for inpatient stay and the top three floors accommodate all outpatient services. The hospital was not completely full but Pucky had no trouble meeting and making new friends as we traveled through the halls of the hospital’s eight floors.
Pucky’s journey throughout the hospital was made possible by Batter Up Capital on 750 Main Street in Hartford. They made sure this happened and have been one of the Whalers Brigade’s biggest supporters in their mission to keep the Whaler name alive. The Whalers name continues to grow as more people show interest in bringing back the NHL to Hartford.
Pucky personally handed each person he met a famous photo of him holding the Stanley Cup, the NHL’s championship trophy, at the Whalers Summer Fan Fest back in 2010. Pucky even took the time to autograph each photo personally. The colossal green whale has an uncanny knack for putting a smile on people’s face’s and that is what he did for the patients and the staff at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
While following Pucky through his visit I could not count the amount of Hospital staff that remembered the Whalers and wanted to know if they could come back. The Whalers Brigade hopes they do because not only will NHL hockey be back but more great charity work will come back with them too.