|League:||American Hockey League|
|Home Arena:||XL Center|
|Colors:||Blue, light blue, white, green
|Owner(s):||Madison Square Garden, Inc.|
|General Manager:||Jim Schoenfeld|
|Head Coach:||Ken Gernander|
|Media:||The Rock 106.9 WCCM-FM|
|Affiliates:||New York Rangers (NHL)|
Greenville Road Warriors (ECHL)
|1976–1977:||Rhode Island Reds|
|1997–2010:||Hartford Wolf Pack|
|Regular Season Titles:||1 1999–00|
|Division Championships:||3 1999–00, 2003–04, 2008–09|
|Conference Championships:||1 1999–00|
|Calder Cups:||1 1999–00|
The Connecticut Whale are a professional ice hockey team based in Hartford, Connecticut. They play in the American Hockey League (AHL). They play their home games at the XL Center.
The team was established in 1926 as the Providence Reds, and after a series of relocations moved to Hartford as the Hartford Wolf Pack. They adopted their current name in October 2010 in honor of the Hartford Whalers of the National Hockey League. The Whale are the top affiliate of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers and are one of several professional hockey teams in Connecticut.
Official Connecticut Whale Website: http://ctwhale.com/
History[edit | edit source]
The minor league Connecticut Whale is named for the only major league sports franchise to have been based in Hartford, the former Hartford Whalers, which left for North Carolina in 1997 to become the Carolina Hurricanes. In the season following the Whalers' departure, the New York Rangers' minor league affiliate, the Binghamton Rangers, relocated to Hartford to begin play at the vacated Hartford Civic Center (today known as the XL Center).
Following a "name-the-team" contest, the franchise became the Hartford Wolf Pack, a reference to a submarine class as well as the tactic known as 'wolfpacking'. With Connecticut being home to both the main builder of submarines (General Dynamics Electric Boat) and the US Navy's primary submarine base, honoring the state's naval tradition was the paramount goal. The name Seawolf, a reference to the Seawolf class submarine was considered to have been the ideal name for the team, however it had already been taken by the Mississippi Sea Wolves of the ECHL. Following the submarine theme, the mascots were named "Sonar" and "Torpedo".
The Wolf Pack's first coach was E.J. McGuire and in the first game, the team won 2-0 against the neighboring Springfield Falcons. PJ Stock recorded the first goal in Wolf Pack history. The team reached the playoffs during the first twelve years of their existence, and won the Calder Cup in 2000, defeating the Rochester Americans in the Cup finals. As of December 2010 the team has only missed the playoffs during the 2009-10 AHL season.
In Summer 2010 the team was purchased by Howard Baldwin, former owner of Hartford Whalers National Hockey League team, and serves as the team's CEO. On September 20, 2010 Baldwin announced the Wolf Pack would change their name to the Connecticut Whale in honor of the Whalers. The name change took place on November 27, 2010; the final game with the "Wolf Pack" name came on November 26, 2010. The opponent was Connecticut's other AHL team, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Sound Tigers won 4-3, in a shootout. On November 27, 2010, the team played first game under the new "Whale" name. The opponent was, again, the Sound Tigers. The Whale won 3-2, in a shootout. The attendance for the debut game was 13,089, which is the second-largest crowd in franchise history. On January 1, 2011 the Connecticut Whale debuted new home jerseys featuring light blue instead of green, however the color has been shelved for the 2011-12 season. The Whale uniform now consists of a white sweater at home with blue and green "wave" striping, and a green road sweater with blue and white "wave" striping.
The Whale were hosts and participants in the 2011 AHL Outdoor Classic, the Whale Bowl, held at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Connecticut fell to the Providence Bruins, 5-4, in a shootout.
Mascots[edit | edit source]
The then-Hartford Wolf Pack started in 1997 with one mascot, a wolf named Sonar. The name was chosen to keep with the submarine theme that the team had used in their naming and logo. Shortly after, the team added a second wolf mascot named Torpedo; this mascot has since been retired. In 2010, with the renaming of the team to the Connecticut Whale, the former Hartford Whalers mascot Pucky the Whale joined as a mascot. Sonar retains his Wolf Pack hat, but now wears a Connecticut Whale jersey; Pucky first wore a unique Whalers jersey which featured the Pucky shoulder patch as the primary logo, but now has a typical Whale sweater.
Season-by-season results[edit | edit source]
Regular season[edit | edit source]
|1997–98||80||43||24||12||1||—||99||272||227||2nd, New England|
|1998–99||80||38||31||5||6||—||87||256||256||2nd, New England|
|1999–2000||80||49||22||7||2||—||107||249||198||1st, New England|
|2000–01||80||40||26||8||6||—||94||263||247||2nd, New England|
Playoffs[edit | edit source]
|Season||Prelim||1st Round||2nd Round||3rd Round||Finals|
|1997–98||—||W, 3–0, NH||W, 4–3, WOR||L, 1–4, SJ||—|
|1998–99||—||W, 3–0, SPR||L, 0–4, PRO||—||—|
|1999–2000||—||W, 3–2, SPR||W, 4–1, WOR||W, 4–3, PRO||W, 4–2, RCH|
|2000–01||—||L, 2–3, PRO||—||—||—|
|2001–02||—||W, 3–2, MAN||L, 1–4, HAM||—||—|
|2002–03||L, 0–2, SPR||—||—||—||—|
|2003–04||—||W, 4–1, POR||W, 4–0, WOR||L, 3–4, WBS||—|
|2004–05||—||L, 2–4, LOW||—||—||—|
|2005–06||—||W, 4–3, MAN||L, 2–4, POR||—||—|
|2006–07||—||L, 3–4, PRO||—||—||—|
|2007–08||—||L, 1–4, POR||—||—||—|
|2008–09||—||L, 2-4, WOR||—||—||—|
|2009–10||Out of Playoffs|
|2010–11||—||L, 2-4, POR||—||—||—|
|2011–12||—||W, 3-0, BRI||L, 2-4, NOR|