Tag Archives: XL Center

REDEMPTION

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS     Portland

(I feel like I need to apologize to the readers of Howlings. I haven’t written my normal stories for the games on Friday and last night. This is as some of you may or may not know, started as a hobby for me but has progressed to the point where it has become a non-paying — and actually I pay quite a bit of money for all of it — part-time job. Well the job that does pay me, my employment agency Crossroads Consulting, has had an explosion of business the past three days and frankly it was difficult to find the time to even get to the games at all. I am also having incredible computer problems that are messing up both “jobs” so I haven’t had the time to dedicate to this as I should. So for that I apologize. We’ll get it right again this coming week…once again, I apologize.)

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

After being shut out by the Springfield Falcons at home for the first time in 15 seasons on Saturday night, Connecticut Whale coach Ken Gernander almost completely shuffled his deck Sunday afternoon.

Gernander changed all four lines, two of the three defensive pairings and started Cam Talbot in goal for the first time in 11 games since Feb. 19.

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THE ROAD AHEAD

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS    Springfield Falcons

The Connecticut Whale currently sit in the third position in the AHL standings. How they’re doing that is a testament to the character of this team, because based upon the way they played at the XL Center Saturday night in a 3-0 loss to the Springfield Falcons, a team fighting just to make it into the post-season, you’d have thought it was the other way around.

“We didn’t give much, I thought and that’s disappointing.  We never really got anything going,” team captain Wade Redden said in his post game assessment. “We had a couple power plays in the first (period) that we didn’t do anything on, didn’t get a spark.

“You guard against (emotional let downs)…it just seemed like we were flat. We had a big win (Friday) night, we just weren’t making plays. We were just a little slower to pucks than them. They just played harder than us…We just put this behind us and get ready for tomorrow.”

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SPOTLIGHT: BATTLE LINES DRAWN IN THE ICE

Bruce BerletBy: Bruce Berlet

Connecticut’s two AHL entries have reached a share of first place in the Northeast Division from quite different directions, yet neither is anywhere near clinching a playoff berth, something both coaches and former Hartford Wolf Pack teammates have espoused on numerous occasions.

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers hold a tie-breaker lead over the Connecticut Whale, making their ninth of 10 meetings in the GEICO Connecticut Cup on Friday night at the XL Center that much more significant. The Sound Tigers (32-20-3-5) were in the division cellar after a 2-10-0-1 slide from Thanksgiving to the end of 2011, but a stunning 20-2-0-2 run vaulted them into first place before they lost three straight last weekend for the first time this season, the first two via shootouts, starting against the Whale.

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COMPLETING THE SET, THE CARD SET THAT IS

Bob CrawfordFRIDAY IS FINAL WHALE TRADING CARD NIGHT

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Card Giveaway Presented by Webster Bank

The Connecticut Whale’s home game at the XL Center tomorrow night, Friday, March 16, a GEICO Connecticut Cup battle, and first-place showdown, with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, will feature the last of three Whale trading card giveaways, sponsored by Webster Bank.

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WHALE WEEKLY: March 12 – 18, 2012

Bob CrawfordBY: Bob Crawford, Voice of the CTWhale

The Whale won two out of three games again this past weekend, starting off with a key 4-3 shootout victory at home Friday over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Northeast Division action. The Whale would fall to the league-leading Norfolk Admirals Saturday at the XL Center, 3-1, on Connecticut Hockey Hall of Fame night, but would rebound nicely with a 5-3 road win over the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday. Casey Wellman had two goals and an assist in Sunday’s game, and both Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Kris Newbury cracked the 20-goal mark over the course of the three games. Chad Johnson recorded his 20th win of the season in goal Sunday, after earning a First-Star nod in Friday’s win over the Sound Tigers.

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CLASH OF THE TITANS

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS      Bridgeport

It doesn’t get more exciting than that!

The Connecticut Whale came from behind three separate times capped by Kris Newbury’s goal off a fluke bounce with 4.9 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime and then after a thrilling extended period went three-for-three in the shootout defeating their franchise and intra-state rivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in front of a crowd of 3,245 at the XL Center Friday night.

The win also pulled the Whale within one point the Sound Tigers for first place in the division.

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A MESSAGE FROM THE CTWHALE OWNERS

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.

Sincerely,

Howard Baldwin, Chairman/CEO

Howard Baldwin, Jr., President/COO

Whalers Sports & Entertainment/Connecticut Whale

LEETCH, GERNANDER LEAD CT HOCKEY HOF CLASS

CT Hockey Hall of FameWHALE’S CT HOCKEY HALL OF FAME NIGHT IS THIS SATURDAY

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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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SPOTLIGHT: “PAPA” REDDEN, THE CAPTAIN

Bruce BerletBY: Bruce Berlet

When the Connecticut Whale gathered for a team meal Saturday night in Manchester, N.H., coach Ken Gernander had a surprise, especially for veteran defenseman Wade Redden.

After the Whale had been without a captain for nearly 16 months, Gernander announced he and assistants J.J. Daigneault and Pat Boller had decided the man affectionately known as “Papa” would be wearing the “C” for the first time in his illustrious career. Redden had been an assistant captain several times, including since he arrived in Hartford last season, but never was the official leader of the pack.

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CLEAR DAY LIST IS PUBLIC

Here is your CTWhale clear day list.

This is the team that the Whale management gives them the best chance to win the rest of the way and to compete in the Calder Cup playoffs.

No real surprises but one question answered and that is that Sean Avery will NOT be playing for the Whale for the rest of the season. For whatever reason, and neither he nor the team have gone public with the reason why, but Avery has just not availed himself to be a part of this group and therefore won’t be playing with the Whale.

The interesting question that DOES come of this, is surrounding Avery’s future, as in, “Does he even have one in the NHL going forward?” That question will get answered this coming summer when Avery becomes an unrestricted free agent. Continue reading