Tag Archives: World Hockey Association

BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – A BOURQUE BY ANY OTHER NAME…

BY: Bruce Berlet

Connecticut Whale veteran defenseman Wade Redden offered a straight-on, right-on reason why rookie left wing Ryan Bourque appears to have a long, strong future in professional hockey.

“He’s got good DNA,” Redden said.

Good, indeed. How about great? Like in some of the best all-time from father Ray Bourque, the Hockey Hall of Famer and all-time leading scorer against the Hartford Whalers, the previous hockey inhabitants in the former Hartford Civic Center.

Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

The financially strapped New York Islanders and their top affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers might finally have got some much needed/desired help Wednesday.

The Islanders’ lease with the Nassau Coliseum doesn’t end until 2015, but concern about the NHL franchise has been going on for years. But Islanders and Nassau County officials announced a $400 million development and job creation plan on Long Island that includes building a world-class sports-entertainment destination center on the site of the antiquated Coliseum with a new sports arena and minor league baseball park at the nearby Mitchel Field Athletic Complex.

Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

HARTFORD, CT – June 2 will mark the first anniversary of Whalers Sports and Entertainment chairman and CEO Howard Baldwin announcing his group’s plans to assume business control of the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack (now Connecticut Whale) with the hope of reviving the local hockey market and returning to the NHL.

Not surprisingly, Baldwin called WSE’s first year “an adventure” that included countless twists and turns and some financial losses. But that hasn’t deterred Baldwin and his group from forging forward with an expanded marketing plan for a continuation of increased attendance and achieving the ultimate goal while focusing more on winning than nostalgia.

Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

Bruce Landon has known Howard Baldwin for nearly four decades.

When Landon wasn’t tending goal for Baldwin’s New England Whalers for parts of their first five seasons in the World Hockey Association, he was playing mostly in Springfield, where he has spent the last 30 years working to build and then keep hockey alive.

Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

The untimely Arctic Invasion on Saturday aside, the historic “Harvest-Properties.com Whalers Hockey Fest 2011” proved quite the bonanza for fans, hockey and Whalers Sports and Entertainment.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

HANSONS SPEAK

By Bruce Berlet

Steve Carlson is part of the answer to one of the great trivia questions in sports history.

Who are the two players to be on the same team as Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe and Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky?

Amazingly, both played for the World Hockey Association’s New England Whalers. You have one answer, so what’s the other?

Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

bruce mug shot 1By Bruce Berlet

EAST HARTFORD, CT. – Howard Baldwin resembled a father with a new son.

It seemed so appropriate considering he and son Howard Jr., former New England Whalers center Garry Swain and Connecticut Whale mascot Pucky christened the new rink in Rentschler Field with a ceremonial first skate and puck drop, signifying the official opening of the historic “Harvest-Properties.com Whalers Hockey Fest.”

Continue reading

DOREY AND LECROIX TO PLAY IN LEGENDS GAME

WHA “ORIGINALS” JIM DOREY AND ANDRE LACROIX TO JOIN PLAYER ROSTER FOR WHALERS VS. BRUINS LEGENDS GAME AT OUTDOOR HARVEST-PROPERTIES.COM “WHALE BOWL” FEB. 19

Legends Game Precedes Outdoor AHL Battle between the CT Whale and Providence Bruins at Rentschler Field

Continue reading

FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

Bruce HeadshotBy Bruce Berlet

Athletes often have unique ways to get involved with the sports that they love.

Nick Evlampios Fotiu got plenty of enjoyment from football, soccer and boxing while growing up in Staten Island, but a bit of divine intervention helped the rugged New Yorker develop a desire to play hockey.

Fotiu loved the New York Rangers so much that he would follow their every move and spend more than an hour each way taking a bus, a ferry and a train from his home to Madison Square Garden, where he would sit in the cheap “blue seats” in the upper reaches of The World’s Most Famous Arena.

And on Sundays, Fotiu would stop in Greenwich Village to visit his grandmother for a pasta dinner and then travel to MSG to watch a team that occasionally challenged for the Stanley Cup but didn’t win pro hockey’s most cherished prize for more than half a century.

Ironically, a few years later, Fotiu would ride the same train for a totally different reason. Continue reading