Sadly, not to Hartford, however.
It’s been 20 years since the Whalers took the ice in the NHL, but as the National Hockey League looks to expand to the Pacific Northwest by adding a team in Seattle, one of the names for the franchise that’s being bandied about is the Whalers. As a long-time fan of the Whale, I’m not sure I like the idea of the Whalers existing somewhere outside of Hartford. It would be nice to see the green & white competing against the likes of the Canadiens and Rangers, but I’m not sure I could support a team that is only representative of what once was right here in Connecticut; especially when they’d be playing their games 3,000 miles away from the Nutmeg State.
Some other names up for consideration for the Seattle franchise are:
- Seattle Metropolitans (a team that not only existed, but won the Stanley Cup in 1917)
- Seattle Totems (also existed, in the Western Hockey League from 1958-1975)
- Seattle Emeralds (because Seattle is the “Emerald City”)
- Seattle Thunderbirds (could be confusing, as a junior hockey league team already exists with this name)
- Seattle Steelheads (Washington’s state fish)
There are others up for consideration, too. However, this is all a little premature. The NHL has not yet decided to expand, although it seems likely. But if they do, there’s strong support of returning a team to Quebec City. Hartford is not in the conversation.