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Thursday, November 29, 2021

endangered
Would anyone care to guess as to why the NHL Powered by Reebok flagship store in New York is completely devoid of even a single trace of Hartford Whalers merchandise?

Yes, the Whalers are long gone, now a decade into their reincarnation as the Carolina Hurricanes. So why should the official league retail outlet stock anything emblazoned with the defunct team logo?

But that’s the weird thing: Plenty of other oldschool and dearly-departed historical teams are represented in the store. You’ll easily find vintage t-shirts and caps featuring:

- Minnesota North Stars
- New York Americans
- Kansas City Scouts
- Atlanta Flames
- Montreal Maroons

That’s all just off the top of my head, and displays a wide range of NHL eras. And, most pertinently, the Whalers’ old World Hockey Association sister franchises that joined Hartford in the NHL merger are all there, logo-wise: Winnipeg and Quebec items are all over the place. And the Oilers, obviously.

But not a stitch of Hartford Whalers blue-green-white. Not even a keychain.

This is all the more puzzling because Manhattan isn’t all that far from the former Whalers home territory. Fact is, you’ll still see the occasional Hartford jersey or t-shirt at Madison Square Garden. If any legacy team was going to be promoted in the New York store, I’d think it would be the ol’ Whale.

Note, this isn’t all that pertinent to me; I was never a Whalers fan. But I’m expecting a visit from my friend Tom next week, and he’s a Hartford native. I stopped by the NHL store today on the chance that some Whale items were stocked for the holiday season (because I actually noticed the omission during the grand opening last month).

So, anybody have any theories, conspiratorial or otherwise? Could current ‘Canes owner Peter Karmanos be kiboshing the resurrection of Whalers sentiment? Let your imagination run wild…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/29/2007 10:41:11 PM
Category: Hockey, New Yorkin'
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8 Feedbacks »
  1. I believe that the CDA(CT Development Authority or something)
    Has the rights to the logo and it was the only thing Hartford got out of the deal when the team moved…quite a shame eh? try ebay fop stuff

    Comment by eric — 11/30/2007 @ 08:06:11 AM

  2. There is a licensing issue. We asked when we were in there on day one, and someone working there just said they weren’t able to make a deal, but hope to.

    Comment by David — 12/02/2021 @ 01:20:26 PM

  3. And indeed, both of you are right: The State of Connecticut owns the Hartford Whalers, sort of in a dormant-franchise sense. It’s part of the deal that was cut with Karmanos to allow him to relocate the team to Carolina (although honestly, the repayment of several million dollars in loans was the key element).

    Here’s the specific language, from the Connecticut Development Authority’s 2006 Annual Report (page 35):

    In addition, the Whalers and the Authority each have granted the other party a mutual release of all claims. The authority also retains the rights to the Whalers’ name, logo, and NHL Franchise Area.

    I guess Connecticut isn’t inclined to help the NHL sell vintage apparel without a replacement Whale team forthcoming via expansion or relocation. Kind of shortsighted, as it would result in revenue generation for the state (however small) from an otherwise non-performing asset.

    Comment by CT — 12/02/2021 @ 02:59:53 PM

  4. Is there any place that still sells merchandise for the whalers?

    Comment by Bill — 06/04/2021 @ 12:12:50 AM

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  6. I realize this thread is fairly old, but if anyone ever see’s the vintage away green whale jersey, let me know, I have been trying to get it for a while and all i can find is the New England whalers jersy. And also whats the deal, I keep hearing that they are trying to move a team back into hartford is this true? How serious are the talks if they are going on?

    Comment by Joshua Reynolds — 07/30/2008 @ 08:14:31 AM

  7. My email is bigorange06786@yahoo.com

    Comment by Joshua Reynolds — 07/30/2008 @ 08:15:55 AM

  8. I was just at the NHL store 9/1/2021 and they have 2 Hartford Whalers t-shirts for sale. Kind of pricey.

    Comment by Rick — 09/05/2021 @ 10:55:01 PM

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