Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Hartford Whalers Whale Bowl Was All We Needed

Not sure where this, my 100th post, is headed?  I don't think any milestone journal posting of mine would be complete without talking about the Hartford Whalers. 

Are the NHL Scouts over here? courtesy of
I was debating whether or not to even write about the Hartford Whalers Whale Bowl that was held a couple of weeks ago.  It seemed interesting to me from the beginning, this further attempt by Howard Baldwin to bring an NHL team back to Hartford.  Former Hartford Whalers players vs. the same Boston Bruins legends who played at Boston's Winter Classic last year, followed by the Connecticut Whale playing in front of the largest crowd in AHL history (sad to tout, but touted it was). 

Sure, it was a two and half hour drive to Rentschler Field.  And fine, the game wasn't being played until 4:30, meaning if I were to bring C, G, and DLG, we wouldn't get home until 10pm, at the earliest.  But after going to the Whalers Fanfest back in August, the kids were excited to learn more about Dad's favorite team (and why Dad always looks wistfully at the ceiling whenever the subject of hockey comes up).  The trip to see the Hartford Colonials at Rentschler Field also demonstrated to me that these kind of trips were acceptable to the children.

Although, I have to ask...what the Hell is

I made plans with a friend of mine from college who lives in the Hartford area growing up loving the Hartford Whalers too.  I started stoking the passion of the children by talking up the prospect of watching a hockey game outdoors.  Surprisingly, they all told me that their favorite part of going would have been the tailgating before the game.  I think they're buttering me up to go to a Patriots game next year, frankly.

But as the game grew closer, I grew more apprehensive.  The weather was barely going to cooperate (below freezing with 30 mile per hour winds) so DLG was probably going to choose to stay at home with Mom.  The boys' basketball seasons were heating up as they were getting closer to the playoffs.  So getting to the Whale Bowl in time with the boys was definitely in question.  The cost seemed a little high for me considering I spent half the price to see the same game in Boston a year ago at Fenway Park.  The two and a half hour drive now seemed like it would be a five hour drive, and I had to go to work the next day (or so my excuse would be to the boys).  But in retrospect, there was a more meaningful reason.  I had discussed a long time ago after watching the former Whalers play the Boston Bruins last year, that it was time to come back to the game and start rooting for a new team.  Who am I kidding, here, anyway?  It's nice to hear that Baldwin is doing everything he can to bring NHL hockey back to Hartford, but until a new stadium is built, it simply will not happen.  Winnipeg, Kansas City and the Pacific Northwest all have NHL ready stadiums.  Quebec will soon have its funding in place to build a new state of the art Le Colisee.  I've been waiting for the Whalers to come home for almost 15 years and I'm afraid that I'll be waiting a lot longer than that. 
It's just not going to happen.  And it's time to move on.

I still have an idea for the NHL that will bring hockey back to Hartford that I will write about in the future.  But in meantime, it's time to come back.  For real, this time.

Join JMR and G tomorrow as we unveil our new NHL team.  It's too late for C - he has Boston Bruins fever.  But for us, the fever is just beginning.

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