Is a Beloved Pro Sports Team on Its Way Back to New England?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Ever have both your winter sports teams get their butts kicked by teams from Florida and say: “There has to be a better way!”? Well, it’s a bit of a long shot but…New Englanders could soon have a new major professional sports team for which to root, and it’s one many New Englanders already know and love (and no, I don't mean the NFL's mythical Boston Bobcats).
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that he is hoping to lure the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes to the region, where they would presumably take on the identity of the Hartford Whalers.
The original Whalers departed Hartford in 1997, moving to Raleigh, North Carolina, and becoming the Carolina Hurricanes. Despite a fairly mediocre tenure in Hartford wherein they were typically eliminated early in the postseason (or missed the playoffs altogether), the Whalers had a loyal following that fell in love with players such as Ron Francis.
Ever since the team left, Hartford has remained at least somewhat active in trying to lure another professional sports team, going so far as reaching an agreement with the Patriots to relocate in the late '90s before the deal ultimately fell through.
According to Connecticut’s Fox61, the Coyotes are in a stalemate with Tempe, Arizona, officials, as the team seeks approval for a new arena. Lamont has expressed his desire for a meeting with NHL officials to map out his plan for the Whalers 2.0.
Lamont is not alone, with Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin posting this edited scree grab of the Coyotes’ Twitter page:
Who knows where the would-be Whalers will land? But in the meantime, take a trip down memory lane with Hartford’s iconic theme song of the '80s and '90s: