The Jeff Jacobs column that recently appeared in the Hartford Courant was an accurate representation of the significant financial and business challenges that Whalers Sports & Entertainment faces in operating the Connecticut Whale under the current XL Center lease terms. Some clarification needs to be added on our part, however, in terms of characterizing the working relationship between WSE and the AEG management of the XL Center.
One thing that we did not do sufficiently in the course of our conversation with Jeff Jacobs was to emphasize that, while the financial terms of the XL Center lease agreement have been a significant burden to our business, the AEG staff have been excellent operational partners to work with. Everyone responsible for assisting us in putting on the Whale games has been consistently responsive to our day-to-day needs and has given a top-notch effort in helping us to ensure that our games remain the best in local sports entertainment, and that the fan experience at Whale home games is unmatched.
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged AEG, AHL, American Hockey League, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Courant, Hartford Wolf Pack, Howard Baldwin, Jeff Jacobs, Northland, Whale, XL Center
BY: Bruce Berlet
When it comes to feel-good stories in the NHL this season, you’d be hard-pressed to find one better than New York Rangers defenseman Stu Bickel, who began the season playing on Asylum Street in Hartford.
Though Bickel will never be confused with elusive Hall of Famers Bobby Orr or Cheshire-bred Brian Leetch, he has proven to be one of the NHL’s all-time steals since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 23, 2010 for disgruntled Hartford Wolf Pack defenseman Nigel Williams.
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged Carl Hagelin, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Dan Girardi, Hartford Wolf Pack, John Tortorella, Ken Gernander, Marc Staal, Michael Sauer, New York Ranger, Nigel Williams, Ranger, Ryan McDonagh, Stu Bickel, 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
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Whalers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged American Hockey League, Blaine Stoughton, Brian Leetch, Connecticut, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Whalers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Howard Baldwin, Howard Baldwin Jr., Julie Chu, Ken Gernander, Mike Liut, Mike Luit, New York Ranger, Pat Verbeek, XL Center
The Connecticut Whale struck three times in a span of just 1:31 in the second period and then rode solid goaltending by Chad Johnson to win their fifth straight game 4-1 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester over the Monarchs Saturday night.
In the second period, newcomer Casey Wellman and Jonathan Audy- Marchessault set each other up for goals just nine seconds apart at 12:01 and 12:10 respectively and Kris Newbury scored on the power play 1:22 later to break the game open for the visiting Whale. The two goals by Wellman and Audy-Marchessault were just one second off the team record that came against the former Albany River Rats on January 5, 2002. Both goals in the record eight seconds came off the stick of then Hartford Wolf Pack centerman Benoit Dusablon.
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Greenville Road Warriors, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged Andre Deveaux, Andreas Thuresson, Audy-Marchessault, Blake Parlett, Brendan Bell, Casey Wellman, Chad Johnson, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Johnson, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Kelsey Tessier, Ken Gernander, Kris Newbury, Manchester Monarchs, Mats Zuccarello, Richard Clune, Tim Erixon, Whale, Wojtek Wolski
Before I took on the task of attempting to be an expert and a strong columnist, I was a big Hartford Wolf Pack (as they were called) fan, so if you don’t mind, I’m going to unleash my inner Connecticut Whale fan for a moment…
Word came today that the CTWhale will have a new incentive plan to purchase season’s tickets next year. For those who do buy the plan you’ll get a custom jersey fleece sweatshirt… Okay, that’s kind of cool, but ultimately no big deal. BUT… what they are doing is giving you and three other guests entrance into the the Luxury Director’s Suite for a game and that, my loyal Howlings readers, is WAY cool. I’ve been in that suite before and you can bet your bottom dollar that you’d have a blast and get to spend some time with some pretty good muckety-mucks… If you’re on the fence about it, this is worth a lot of dough-ray-me and given the rest of the flexibility, it’s something you should jump on…
That’s just my two cents… And now, back to my normal objective self…
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged AHL, Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Howard Baldwin, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Kris Newbury, New York Ranger, Springfield Falcons, Wade Redden, Whale, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, XL Center
BY: Ray Schmitt, Voice of the Greenville Road Warriors
The Greenville Road Warriors announced today that they have acquired forward Bretton Cameron from the Stockton Thunder in exchange for forward Max Campbell.
Posted in ECHL, Greenville Road Warriors, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, Sports
Tagged American Hockey League, Bretton Cameron, Chicago Blackhawks, Connecticut Whale, ECHL, Greenville News, Greenville Road Warriors, Hartford Wolf Pack, Kalamazoo Wings, Max Campbell, Medicine Hat Tigers, Road Warrior, Stockton Thunder
BY: Bruce Berlet
One of the great success stories in Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale history continued Thursday when defenseman Dan Girardi was one of three New York Rangers named to the NHL All-Star team.
Girardi, who earned his first All-Star selection, was joined by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and right wing Marian Gaborik, locks to be named for the third time among the 36 players chosen to play Jan. 29 in Ottawa. It’s the first time since 2002 that the All-Star selections included three Rangers, and another of the first-time selections was goalie Jonathan Quick, a Hamden native who starred at Hamden High, Avon Old Farms and UMass before joining the Los Angeles Kings, for whom he has a league-high six shutouts this season.
Posted in AHL, Charlotte Checkers, ECHL, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged Connecticut Whale, CTWhale, Dan Girardi, Daniel Girardi, Girardi, Hartford Wolf Pack, Henrik Lundqvist, John Tortorella, Marc Staal, National Hockey League, New York Ranger, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Phoenix Coyotes, Ranger, Ryan McDonagh
If the Connecticut Whale are going to make a serious run at a Calder Cup championship they are going to have to learn how to play with a lead and that it takes a full sixty minutes to win. Friday night in Binghamton, New York the Whale took on the Ottawa Senators top farm team and surrendered goals to forwards Andre Peterrsson and Pat Carrone in exactly sixty seconds and ex-Hartford Wolf Pack center Corey Locke would add an empty net goal in the final minute and the Whale lost for the eighth time in their last thirteen games (5-6-1-1) and saw their record when leading after the first period to 5-4-1-3 as they dropped a 3-1 decision in front of 3,684 at the Brome County Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
“I thought in the third period, when we pushed harder, we got more consistent offensive output,” Whale head coach Ken Gernander told the team’s Brian Ring afterwards. “In the first two periods, we tried forcing plays, we turned down shots, we didn’t put pucks deep and consequently we didn’t generate much offense. I think that was the difference between the third period and the first two.”
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged Andre Deveaux, Binghamton, Binghamton Senators, Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Chad Johnson, Connecticut Whale, Corey Locke, CTWhale, Francois Bouchard, Hartford Wolf Pack, Jordan Owens, Kelsey Tessier, Ken Gernander, Kris Newbury, Mike Hoffman, Mike McKenna, Ottawa, Sean Avery, Springfield Falcons, Tim Conboy, Whale, XL Center
Both I-91 rivals are a mix of veteran and young talent, but after scoring four unanswered goals over the last two periods, the Connecticut Whale showed how they have managed to hold onto first palace in the Northeast Division while the Springfield Falcons struggle to remain out of the division basement with a chemistry-led and convincing 5-2 win over in front of 5,448 at the XL Center on the last game of 2011.
Despite having strong talent like goaltender Manny Legace, AHL All-Star Martin St. Pierre, veteran Adam Mair, left winger Matt Calvert, ex-Wolf Pack captain Dane Byers and future AHL Hall-of-Famer Alexandre Giroux and young talent like Cam Atkinson and Tomas Kubalik the Falcons just seem adrift on the ice as they have lost all five games against the Whale this season.
For the Whale, Francois Bouchard, the game’s First Star, had a break-out game pacing the Whale with three assists. Kris Newbury extended his points scoring streak to seven games with two goals and Pavel Valentenko, quickly moving up the depth chart, had a goal and a helper, including what proved to be the game-winner for the Whale.
Posted in AHL, Connecticut Whale, ECHL, Greenville Road Warriors, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hockey, New York Rangers, NHL, Sports
Tagged Alexandre Giroux, Brendan Bell, Cam Atkinson, Cam Talbot, Connecticut Whale, Dane Byers, Falcon, Francois Bouchard, Hartford Wolf Pack, Kelsey Tessier, Ken Gernander, Kris Newbury, Manny Legace, Martin St. Pierre, Springfield Falcons, Whale, XL Center