Tag Archives: Ron Francis



Defenseman signs one-year pact

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Director of Hockey Operations of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti (san-GIH-neh-tee) on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay him $600,000 at the NHL level, and $62,500 at the minor-league level for the 2011-12 season.

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Justin Soryal, who has been the Hartford Wolf Pack / Connecticut Whale enforcer for the past three seasons will join another ex-Wolf Pack player, Bobby Sanguinetti when he joins the Carolina Hurricanes AHL club in Charlotte.

Here’s the official release from the Carolina Hurricanes announcing the signing:

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bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet


Mark Howe was making the one-hour drive from his beach house in Beach Haven, N.J., to his home in Jackson, N.J., on Tuesday afternoon when his cell phone rang.

Howe said reception in the area isn’t always good, but the connection lasted long enough for him to hear the news that he wasn’t sure would ever come.

In his lucky 13th year of eligibility, Howe was one of four new members of the Hockey Hall of Fame, joining father Gordie and former teammates Ron Francis, Dave Keon, and Bobby Hull, as well as Paul Coffey as Hartford Whalers to earn the honor.

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bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

Gordie Howe might be “Mr. Hockey” in the sporting world, but Howard Baldwin has held a similar title in Hartford seemingly forever.

Oh, there was about a two-decade sabbatical from the Insurance City that included the start of a filmmaking business in Hollywood that still consumes some of his time, though more of wife Karen.

But Baldwin returned to Connecticut about two years ago intent on reviving the pro hockey market in Hartford and bringing the NHL back to a city that he steadfastly believes it never should have left.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

He shared the goal-scoring lead in the first season the New England Whalers became the Hartford Whalers and joined the National Hockey League.

He and future Hall of Famer Ron Francis seemed to pull off “The Detroit Play” at the most opportune moment, helping lead to two of his four 50-goal seasons being in the NHL.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

Ron Francis. Kevin Dineen. … Kevin Dineen. Ron Francis.

Trying to select the best player in Hartford hockey history always comes down to the two most iconic figures since the New England Whalers arrived in town from Boston in 1974.

Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull, the best right wing and left wing in NHL history, are the most famous and legendary members of the All-Hartford Hockey History roster, but Francis/Dineen or Dineen/Francis has to be No. 1 and 1A in terms of contributions to the franchise.

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Danbury, CT_This Saturday, November 27th, at 7:05 PM, when the Danbury Whalers take on the Rome Frenzy the team will be auctioning off the official game worn white jersey’s they will be wearing in that night’s game.

Fans can place their bids at the game at the merchandise stand.  The auction will end one minute into game action of the third period.

Fans wishing to place a bid but will not be in attendance, can call in before 3 PM on Saturday to 973-713-7547.


Saturday night is Black Saturday sponsored by HVCASA.  Fans will have a chance to win great prizes throughout the night.  In addition, Danbury based Choice Tickets has four New York Rangers tickets in the prize mix.

For tickets logo on to GET TICKETS HERE or call 973-713-7547


Danbury WhalersvehicleThere are a few times during a season where a team comes together for a special moment.  This happened for the Danbury Whalers Hockey Club on Monday night, early Tuesday morning, as they recorded an assist but not in the traditional hockey score sheet you would normally see.

At midnight on Monday, as the team was coming home from their road trip to Binghamton following their 5-4 Overtime win over the Broome County Barons in Federal Hockey League action, Celebration Travel and Tours bus driver, John Phenix called out “Call 911 – Call 911”.

Driving ahead of the team bus on 84, a pickup truck veered off the road and into the center embankment of the highway.  The vehicle flipped over a few times and finally came to rest completely turned over.  The bus stopped, the Danbury Whalers players got out and rushed into action.

Players Devin Guy & Ryan Donovan immediately crawled under the vehicle, spoke to the driver, and kicked out the back window glass.  In quickly assessing the situation, the players acted and pulled the driver out of the vehicle.  Other Danbury players Augie DiMarzo & Nick Niedert also were on the scene to aid in the cause.

The incident happened in Kent, New York about 15 miles outside of Danbury on route 84 heading Eastbound.

To a man all the players mentioned and not mentioned wanted to downplay this incident and what took place.  We felt this was such a special act – that it had to be recognized.

From the Danbury Whalers organization to our players…

We are so proud of you and the way you represent this team, organization, and city.  Thank you for being so much more than we ever could have expected.

Danbury Whalers Opening Weekend Update

Danbury Whalers 2Opening Weekend Agenda

The Danbury Whalers are set to drop the puck on their inaugural season on Friday night October 29th at 7:05 pm when they take on the New York Aviators.


The teams complete their 2-game series the next night on Saturday, October 30th.  The puck drops at 7:05 pm.


For the weekend the promotional lineup is as follows:


Friday October 29th, 2010

6:00 pm           Gates Open

                      Connecticut band Big Fat Combo plays until 6:50


6:55 pm           Opening Night festivities begin

                      Introduction of honored guests and Danbury Whalers staff & management


7:04 pm         Teams hit the ice


7:05 pm    Mayor Mark Boughton drops the ceremonial First Puck


                        First Period Intermission        


·         Danbury Whalers Model Search Final Round


·         Jersey Auction – Bid on your favorite Danbury Whalers player game worn jersey.  Each jersey has a specially embroidered OPENING NIGHT 10/29/10 on the chest


                        Throughout the night             

·         Promotions & giveaways including a TV, camera, & iPod



·         Danbury Whalers players will sign autographs in the lobby


More Post Game                    

·         Meet up with the Danbury Whalers players at TK’s American Café

(Located on 255 White Street in Danbury)


Saturday, October 30th, 2010

6:00 pm           Gates Open


7:05                 Puck drops


                        First Period Intermission        

·         Halloween Costume contest sponsored by the News Times

            Winners receive – TV, Nintendo Wii, Camera



·         Danbury Whalers players will sign autographs in the lobby


More Post Game                   

·         Come meet us after the game at Billy Beans on White Street


Danbury Whalers 2 Danbury Whalers Prepare for Opening Weekend

Prize Giveaways, Jersey Auction, & Costume Contest Highlight Weekend

Today at the Danbury Ice Arena, in Danbury, Connecticut, Danbury Whalers, CEO, Herm Sorcher announced the outline for Opening Weekend festivities.

On Friday, October 29th at 7:05 pm the team drops the puck against the New York Aviators in the team’s first game.  Opening Night festivities will begin at 7 pm with the introduction of members of the community and Danbury Whalers staff and management.  Dropping the ceremonial first puck will be Danbury Mayor, Mark Boughton.opening weekend

Throughout the evening there will be numerous contests, promotions, and giveaways with fans having a chance to win a TV, camera, and other great prizes.

The Danbury Whalers will be wearing their Kelly Green jerseys on Friday.  Fans will a chance to bid in a silent auction for the player’s game worn jerseys.  Following the game the players will sign their jersey for the winning bidder.

Following the game, there will be a post game party at TK’s American Café on 255 White Street in Danbury.  All players and coaches will attend.  Check out TK’s at www.tksamericancafe.com.

On Saturday, October 30th the team again takes on the New York Aviators in a 7:05 pm start.

Fans are encouraged to come to the game in their Halloween costumes.  There will be a costume contest sponsored  by the News Times with the fans winning from a collection of prizes including a Nintendo Wii, a TV, and camera.

Danbury Whalers individual game tickets can be purchased by calling 973-713-7547 or by logging onto the team website at www.thedanburywhalers.com

For the opening weekend, the team is encouraging fans to purchase in advance to avoid long lines at the ticket booth.

For further information on the Danbury Whalers, contact Herm Sorcher at 973-713-7547 or email hsorcher@thedanburywhalers.com.