Hartford Whalers

Hartford Whalers

Hurricanes Timeline


New England Whalers Team Formation

The Whalers franchise was born in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association awarded a franchise to New England businessmen Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, W. Godfrey Wood and William Edward Barnes, to begin play in Boston.

Relocate to Hartford

While in Boston, the club played their home games at the Boston Arena and Boston Garden. However game scheduling at Boston Garden owned by the rival NHL Bruins became increasingly difficult, and the owners decided to relocate the team to Hartford, Connecticut beginning with the 1974 - 1975 season. The area, aside from various minor league teams in New Haven, had been largely bereft of pro hockey until the team's arrival. While waiting for their new arena in Hartford, the Whalers played the first part of the 1974 - 1975 season at The Big E Coliseum in West Springfield, MA.

On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game in front of a sellout crowd at the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum. The franchise remained in Hartford until it relocated to North Carolina for the 1997 - 1998 season, save for a temporary relocation to the nearby Springfield Civic Center in the late 1970s while their Hartford arena was being rebuilt after heavy snow followed by heavy rain caused the roof to collapse, which suffered from several engineering and construction shortcomings.

New Ownership

In the summer of 1994, the Whalers were purchased, in a deal brokered by the Connecticut Development Authority, by Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos, along with partners Thomas Thewes, and Jim Rutherford. Rutherford became the team’s new General Manager and Holmgren came back as the Head Coach. The new ownership wanted to turn the team into a winner for the 1994 - 1995 season.

Move to Carolina

Despite assurances made when he purchased the team in 1994 that the Whalers would remain in Hartford at least through 1998, in March 1997 owner Peter Karmanos announced that the team would move elsewhere after the 1996 - 1997 season because of the team's inability to negotiate a satisfactory construction and lease package for a new arena in Hartford. On May 6, 1997, Karmanos announced that the Whalers would move to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina and the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh. Due to the relatively short time frame for the move, Karmanos himself thought of and decided upon the new name for the club, the Carolina Hurricanes, rather than holding a contest as is sometimes done. Later that summer, the team dropped the Whalers' colors of blue, green and silver for a new black-and-red scheme, matching the colors of the North Carolina State University Wolfpack, with whose men's basketball team they would share the arena in Raleigh. In defiance of all geographic reality, the Hurricanes inherited the Whalers' place in the Northeast Division.

PNC Arena Opens

PNC Arena originally Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena and formerly RBC Center is an indoor arena, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Arena seats 19,722 for basketball, and 18,680 for ice hockey, including 66 luxury suites and 2,000 club seats. The building has three concourses and includes a 300-seat restaurant.

Stanley Cup Winners

Stanley Cup - 2006
The 2006 Stanley Cup Final was the NHL championship series of the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs contested between the Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes and the Western Conference champion Edmonton Oilers. It was Carolina's second appearance in the Final, the other being in 2002, a loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It was Edmonton's seventh appearance in the Final and their first since their fifth Cup win in 1990. Carolina defeated Edmonton in seven games to win the franchise's first Stanley Cup becoming the tenth post-1967 expansion team and third former WHA team to win the Cup. Carolina's 2006 win was also the teams' second league championship the club, then known as the New England Whalers won the WHA Championship in 1973.

Whalers Primary Logo History Whalers Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History

Boston - Hartford - Raleigh

Whalers - Whaling is a major industry in Massachusetts seaport towns.

PNC Arena
2013 - present
RBC Center
2002 - 2012
Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena
1999 - 2002
Greensboro Coliseum
1997 - 1999

Hartford Civic Center
1975 - 1978, 1980 - 1997
Springfield Civic Center
1979 - 1980

The Big E Coliseum
1974 - 1975
Boston Garden
1972 - 1974
Boston Arena
1972 - 1973

Peter Karmanos, Jr.
1994 - present
Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, W. Godfrey Wood and William Edward Barnes
1972 - 1993

Established: 1972

League History:
National Hockey League
1980 - present
World Hockey Association
1972 - 1979

Team History:
Carolina Hurricanes
1997 - present
Hartford Whalers
1979 - 1997

New England Whalers
1972 - 1979

Stanley Cups: 1
2005 - 2006

Retired Numbers:
2 Glen Wesley
9 Gordie Howe
10 Ron Francis

17 Rod Brind'Amour
99 Wayne Gretzky

Mascots: 1975 - 1985
  *Red is this team's history

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