For the first time since the franchise’s relocation in 1998, the Carolina Hurricanes, formerly the Hartford Whalers, will reprise the jerseys worn by the team when they were rooted in the Constitution State. Most notably, these jerseys were worn by one of the NHL’s all time greatest, Gordie Howe.
On December 23rd, just two days before Christmas, fans of the old Hartford Whalers are in for a special Christmas treat. On that night, the Carolina Hurricanes will host the Boston Bruins in their final game before the holiday break. And they will do so clad as the Brass Bonanza queued team of yesterday and embrace the challenge of their old rivals from the Adams Division. The Canes will also where the Whalers on March 5th, 2019, when they play the Bruins at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
NHL Legend Gordie Howe in a Whalers uniform, circa 1979.
Don Waddell, the president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes told NBC Sports today that, “We’re proud of the history and traditions that we’ve built in twenty-one years in North Carolina. But, we’ve never thrown away the records established in Connecticut. This is a chance to celebrate our team’s heritage and the players and coaches who laid the groundwork for this franchise“.
Statistically, of all the now-defunct teams from throughout the NHL’s history, the Hartford Whalers still sell the most merchandise, beating out even the beloved Quebec Nordiques in terms of sales.
It's back. 🐳
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) September 27, 2018
The sample jersey shown when the Hurricanes made their big announcement, pay special attention to the Hurricanes logo on the inside of the collar.
In recent years, rumors have begun to swirl once again of the franchise’s relocation. While it doesn’t seem that this is the best time for Hartford to embrace the return of their hockey team, Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy has offered numerous times for the Hurricanes to play a home game or two in Hartford’s XL Center, which is also home to the Hartford Wolfpack, the AHL affiliate team for the New York Rangers.
Whether the Carolina Hurricanes will take Governor Malloy up on his offer or not is still unknown at this time.
By: Chris Laroche