Tag Archives: Brian Leetch


Connecticut Whale

To Our Valued CT Whale Fans,

Thank you so much for your interest in our team and in our efforts to bring back the great Whaler brand to the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut. It’s hard to believe we are about to conclude our second year of operation with the team. The next couple of months is going to be a very critical time period for our efforts in Hartford. We therefore wanted to reach out to you directly so you hear from us directly as to what will be transpiring.

The first issue that we must deal with for the future is establishing a long-term and permanent home for the Connecticut Whale at the XL Center — under lease terms that enable us to properly operate our business in a professional manner.  In order for us to be able to operate beyond 2013, we must have a lease arrangement with the XL Center that is competitive with other AHL teams. Right now we are operating under lease terms that are far and away the most onerous in the American Hockey League.

In no way is this meant to be a criticism of the current building management team or anyone else for that matter. We recognize full well that things that were done in the ‘90s have put an unfair burden on current operations at the XL Center, which of course includes us. However, these obligations will no longer exist after next season. Therefore it is imperative that as we go into the future these burdens are no longer passed on to the prime tenant (i.e. the Connecticut Whale). It is our responsibility to you and to all our loyal fans and sponsors to do what we have to do in the next 30-60 days to solidify hockey in Hartford for the next 10 years.

The month of March is an exciting month for the Connecticut Whale. During the month of March and the first half of April we have 12 home games, all on attractive weekend dates. This coming Saturday night, March 10th, we have the first Connecticut Hockey Hall-of-Fame night. This will be an annual event. Some of the players being inducted with this first group are former Whaler greats Mike Liut, Pat Verbeek and Blaine Stoughton as well as our great coach and former Wolf Pack player Ken Gernander, three-time US Olympian Julie Chu as well as former New York Ranger, Hall-of-Famer, Brian Leetch.

The month of March is hockey time. This is a time when playoffs are upcoming and the games are increasingly meaningful. We are counting on your attendance to as many of these games as possible.

Finally, rest assured on behalf of our partnership and each dedicated person that works for the Connecticut Whale, executives, coaches, and players alike, it is a privilege to play in this city and to have your support. Thank you very much.


Howard Baldwin, Chairman/CEO

Howard Baldwin, Jr., President/COO

Whalers Sports & Entertainment/Connecticut Whale



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Includes Poster Giveaway, First-intermission Induction Ceremony, Autograph Session, Jersey Auction

The Connecticut Whale’s CT Hockey Hall of Fame Night is coming up this Saturday, March 10 at the XL Center, as the Whale host the Norfolk Admirals in a 7:00 game.

The night marks the enshrinement of a new class of 2012 inductees into the CT Hockey Hall of Fame, which has adopted eight members from the storied Hartford Whalers Hall of Fame.  The new inductees are: Connecticut-bred Hockey Hall of Famer Brian Leetch, ex-Hartford Whalers 56-goal scorer Blaine Stoughton, former Whalers goaltender Mike Liut, former Whalers captain Pat Verbeek, Connecticut Whale/Hartford Wolf Pack franchise icon, long-time captain and current head coach Ken Gernander, three-time Olympic medalist for Team USA and all-time NCAA women’s leading scorer Julie Chu, and one of the founders of the New England Whalers, William E. Barnes.

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Seven New Hall of Famers to be Honored during March 10 CT Whale Home Game

Whalers Sports & Entertainment and the CT Hockey Hall of Fame today announced the seven inductees who have been selected to form the new 2012 class of enshrinees to the CT Hockey Hall of Fame.  The newly-selected hall of famers will be honored at the Connecticut Whale’s March 10 home game at the XL Center vs. the Norfolk Admirals, which will be “CT Hockey Hall of Fame Night”.

The seven new CT Hockey Hall of Fame inductees are:

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Bruce Berlet 7BY: Bruce Berlet

A month after his call-up from the Connecticut Whale to the parent New York Rangers, left wing Carl Hagelin continues to solidify his position with the big club.

The rookie speedster from Sweden had his second two-goal game in only 16 NHL starts on Monday night, as the Rangers beat the visiting New York Islanders 3-0 for their fifth straight victory, elevating them to first overall in the Eastern Conference standings.

“Obviously it was great to get two goals, and to be a plus-two; it’s always important to be a plus player,” Hagelin told the media after his third game on a top line with Brad Richards and captain and former Hartford Wolf Pack right wing Ryan Callahan. “There were just some great plays by my linemates and by (defenseman Michael) Del Zotto on the goals. I just had to get to the right spot.

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The New York Rangers have announced, to no surprise to anyone who follows the team on a regular basis, that Ryan Callahan has been named the team’s 26th captain. Marc Staal and Brad Richards will be alternate captains.

Brian Leetch, who was captain for three years, (1997-2000) was the last captain of the Rangers to come up through the organization prior to Callahan. Since Leetch the Rangers have had just three other captains; “THE Captain,” Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr and the recently retired Trumbull native, Chris Drury.

But for Callahan this almost seemed inevitable. From the time he first set foot on the ice at the then Hartford Civic Center in a Hartford Wolf Pack uniform, you could tell that there was something different about this young man from Rochester, New York.

It was simple…he was a leader.

Now a new era in New York can officially begin for the Rangers. Ryan Callahan will lead the Blueshirts in much the same way that Mark Messier did. Whether that will be to a Stanley Cup or not, there’s no way at this minute to say that definitively, but if you follow this team on a regular basis, all of the right things are being done to make this organization ready to go after it.

The other decision to keep Staal and add Richards to the leadership group of this team was also the right thing to do.

Staal is both the top defenseman on this team now and heading for the future. Richards has signed a big contract and will be expected to be a leader on this team for years. He has been a leader before and with the burden on his back, this is also an appropriate honor.

Here’s the official release:


New York, September 12, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that forward Ryan Callahan has been named the 26th captain in franchise history.  Brad Richards will join Marc Staal as the club’s two alternate captains.

“Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our Captain,” Sather said.  “He leads by example with courage and a tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor.”

Callahan, 26, has served as a Rangers Alternate Captain for the last two seasons after being named to the post on October 2, 2009.  He captured a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, and is a two-time Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winner (2008-09 and 2009-10).  Last season, Callahan captured the Players’ Player Award, as voted by his teammates, and the John Halligan Good Guy Award, selected by the NY chapter of the PHWA in recognition of cooperation with the media.

Entering his fifth season in the NHL, Callahan was originally selected as the Rangers’ fourth round choice, 127th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.  He has registered 76 goals and 68 assists for 144 points, along with 179 penalty minutes in 284 career regular season games.  Callahan has reached the 40-point plateau and surpassed the 20-goal mark in two of the last three seasons, and has recorded 200-plus hits in each of the last three seasons.  The Rochester, New York native enjoyed his most productive season in 2010-11, establishing career-highs in goals (23), assists (25) and points (48) despite missing 22 games due to injury.  He tallied his first career hat trick with four goals and a career-high five points on March 6 vs. Philadelphia, and notched his first career penalty shot goal on October 30 at Toronto.  On October 23, Callahan registered his 100th career point with an assist on the game-winning goal at Boston.  Callahan made his NHL debut on December 1, 2006 at Buffalo, and tallied his first career NHL point with a two-goal performance on March 17, 2007 vs. Boston.






(Photo courtesy of nyrzone.com)


BY: Bruce Berlet

September 11 always elicits memories of that fateful trip down the Merritt Parkway.

A decade ago, I was passing through Meriden on the way to the opening day of Rangers’ training camp at Madison Square Garden when a news flash on the radio revealed a plane had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center.

Immediate responses were that a plane had inadvertently went off course and flown too low, but when a second plane hit the other tower, everyone began to believe it was a terrorist attack and instructions were not to enter New York City.

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BY: Mitch Beck with Adam Gavriel

DelZotto_M_0526_action2For athletes looking to develop a professional career, the path to achieving it, in many ways, resembles the four-year high school matriculation process.

As a rookie, a player enters their freshman year; the new kid on the block. Expectations are high, but there are a lot of unknowns.

By an athlete’s second season, the awkward first year mistakes should be minimalized and the expectations elevate.

The third year is the critical test. In high school, adjustments have been and the child that showed up for freshman year is expected to be gone. The adjustments that have been learned from the second year are now fully implemented. There’s more responsibility. More pressure to be, pardon the cliché, all that you can be are clearly beginning to emerge.

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New York RangersWith their first pick in the 2011 NHL Entry draft, 15th overall, the New York Rangers selected centerman J.T. Miller.

One never knows what’s going to happen or how a player is going to turn out from the first round.

Will they turn out to be like Hall-of-Famer Brian Leetch (#9 overall in 1986) or will they be a Michael Stewart (#13 overall in 1990) who never played a single game in the NHL.

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bruce mug shot 1By: Bruce Berlet

Former Hartford Wolf Pack center Jarkko Immonen was at his best in the World Hockey Championships and a major reason that Finland won the gold medal for only the second time.

Immonen scored his tournament-leading ninth goal to start Finland’s rally to a 6-1 rout of archrival Sweden on Sunday in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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