(Sports.Yahoo.com) – According to WFSB, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin sent a letter to the Islanders ownership imploring them to take a look at the XL Center in downtown Hartford for their “interim use” and potentially as a “long-term solution” for the team if it needs to find a home. The building is the full-time home of the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack and housed the Hartford Whalers until they moved after the 1996-97 season to Carolina where they became the Hurricanes.
(Courant.com) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will propose spending $250 million for a major renovation of the city’s (Hartford) aging XL Center — half of it over the next two years — as he seeks to woo a major league hockey team back to Hartford. Malloy said he and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin reached out to the New York Islanders asking the NHL team to consider moving to the XL Center.
Don’t do this to me. Don’t even get me thinking about a return of the Whale. The jersey, the fifty shades of green, that logo. Damn.
No, they weren’t my team growing up, but when I was a kid my dad would take me to Whaler games because we could get ice level seats for nickels. And just like us Sox fans who invaded the Expos Olympic Stadium in Montreal back in the day, it was the cheapest of great times.
But this whole thing is just too good to be true. Which is why it probably won’t happen.
I would be a huge fan of this move though. Whether it’s Carolina moving back, or John Tavares bringing the Isle with him. It’s still a fantastic location for a Bruins rival and that nostalgic feeling from back in the day would be electric. If we could turn back the clock to the 90’s before the Whale moved one would think Connecticut’s own ESPN could and should have swooped in to buy and save the franchise then. We wouldn’t even need to be talking about this now. But it is what it is.
I won’t get my hopes up. I’ll just quietly watch this story from afar. The Western Conference needs yet another team after Las Vegas first to balance out the league. But if the Whalers do make a comeback it will be glorious. And I will be there on opening night in my ridiculously expensive $200 balcony seat.
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