April 07, 2006

Pens could be bought; moved to Hartford: A Massachusetts developer wants to buy the Penguins and either keep the hockey team in the city or move them to Hartford, Conn., where he is trying to get state officials to build a new arena, a newspaper reported Friday.
If he does buy and move them, what would the team be called? The Pen-Whalers?

posted by wingnut4life to hockey at 10:53 AM - 52 comments

Sweet. Go Whale!

posted by Dan121377 at 11:29 AM on April 07

not going to happen

posted by steelcityguy at 11:33 AM on April 07

You think the Pens are going to stay in Pittsburgh? And that's why Mario & Co. are selling, right? They might stay, but those odds are now in the 'unlikely' column.

posted by garfield at 11:51 AM on April 07

hockey failed in hartford once already what makes you think it will work this time?

posted by black&goldman at 12:31 PM on April 07

Wasn't the biggest for the Whalers the TV/radio market overlap from Boston and NYC?

posted by NoMich at 12:34 PM on April 07

Can we have 'em in LA, please?

posted by hotrod56 at 12:35 PM on April 07

I miss the chant LETS GO WHALERS!!! BRASS BONANZA HERE WE GO AGAIN!!! it failed in hfd cuz of the civic center. it was(is) terrible. Build a new building and the problem is more than halfway solved.

posted by viricide at 01:00 PM on April 07

the TV/radio market overlap from Boston and NYC? Totally offset by the fact they can play their games in a goddamn mall. Who else can make that claim, besides the studs at EB?

posted by yerfatma at 01:15 PM on April 07

The hoochie girls? They're always playing their games at the goddamn mall.

posted by NoMich at 01:58 PM on April 07

Hockey failed in Denver once too, and I'd say it's working out this time. If they're not staying in Pittsburgh (I don't have a feel for how this is going to pan out anymore; I don't think anyone outside Mario & maybe the Mayor's office does), then why not Hartford? There are still Whalers fans, despite the fact that they left a decade ago, and the whole arena-in-a-mall thing was kind of bush league. So why not? You just know ESPN would adopt them as their own (even if they'd rather show live dominoes matches than actually broadcast their games). Yeah, why not Hartford?

posted by chicobangs at 02:15 PM on April 07

L.A. getting a second hockey is sweet, but less than easy. I hope they Do move. Relocation and expansion are single two best things in pro sports. It will be a big blow for them to NOT move to Kansas City. If they do go to Hartford, it will be a feelgood story with a happy ending for the people of that metropolis. I hope they change their name altogether and become the Hartford Whalers, again.

posted by Joe88 at 02:22 PM on April 07

I'd love to see the return of the Whale. Having been to Pittsburgh this year, the Mellon arena isn't fit for an AHL team. What a terrible and embarrassing facility. Sure it would be a small shame for a city with such a good hockey heritage to let the team just go like that - but that writing has been on the wall for years now. I also harken the return of the Winnipeg Jets.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:45 PM on April 07

I have yet to see a team return to a city and use the original name. For example, Colorado went from Rockies to Avalanche, Atlanta from Flames to Thrashers (well I could understand since Calgary kept the name), Minnesota from Northstars to Wild, (well Dallas did keep the 'stars' part). Anyway I think I may have answered my own question, but if the Pens do go to Hartford can they call themselves the Whalers? or to Winnipeg and call themselves the Jets? And come to think of it doesn't Colorado have a baseball team called the Rockies? That would explain why the hockey team got a different name.

posted by njsk8r20 at 03:08 PM on April 07

Yeah, if anything, I think Carolina probably still retains some rights to the "Whalers" name -- and any profits off of retro jersies or something. Just guessing though. hockey failed in hartford once already what makes you think it will work this time? Atlanta and Colorado and Minnesota.

posted by mkn at 03:13 PM on April 07

Technically, Carolina has the old Whalers' stats and history, but frankly, I don't see why they couldn't take the name back. (Wait, what about the Cleveland Browns? That's a similar situation, at least as far as the name thing.) It would be quite a feel-good story if they took the Whalers name back, which if you're losing a team with a fairly eventful and successful history like the Penguins, is almost necessary, PR-wise. If they move to Hartford, I have no doubt they could work out the name thing.

posted by chicobangs at 03:14 PM on April 07

Hey, hotrod56. I can see why you are saying that after last nights game against the Sharks. Lots of talent on the Kings and Sharks. The Kings partly beat them selves and both Goalies were outstanding! I do not think the move to Hartford would be a smart one after the failure before!

posted by BrownDuck at 03:18 PM on April 07

chico, the Browns' deal was different. When the Browns left, the NFL assured Clevelanders that they would again have a team, and that that team would always be the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens had to start over with no Cleveland Browns history at all. Cleveland got to keep their history, stats, colors, and their boorish fans.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:26 PM on April 07

The Ravens had to start over with no Cleveland Browns history at all. So what team was it listed that the players who played for the Browns and moved to Baltimore played for? I think that if they do move to Hartford, they probably won't keep the name. As stated above, there is yet to be a city to regain a team that then gets the previous team's name, although it could happen. I think that it is more likely that they either keep the name of Penguins (which I think is a good possibility) or choose another name altogether.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:35 PM on April 07

The name and song belong to somebody up in Connecticutt. That's the Hurricanes aren't the Whalers. Frankly, it makes more sense this way as there is not any history of hunting for whales down here, but we do have a whale of a history of hurricanes. sk8r: And come to think of it doesn't Colorado have a baseball team called the Rockies? That would explain why the hockey team got a different name. Remember when St. Louis had the football Cardinals and the baseball Cardinals at the same time? Maybe the baseball thugs muscled the football Cards out of town?

posted by NoMich at 03:36 PM on April 07

Clarification: the Whalers name and logo belong to the Connecticut Development Authority. I don't know who owns the rights to the song Brass Bonanza.

posted by NoMich at 03:43 PM on April 07

[W]hy not Hartford? No one is winning in 2008 on that platform.

posted by yerfatma at 03:46 PM on April 07

And all this time I thought Bob Marly was dead :-(

posted by Folkways at 03:58 PM on April 07

Here we go again. Bibbidy Bobiddy Bob Kraft used a ploy to get a new stadium in Foxboro. He pitted Foxboro against Hartford with the threat to move the Patriots to Hartford. Alas, a new stadium in Foxboro. Don't be surprised if the Penguins are doing the same thing and will probably end up with a new arena in Pittsburgh. Ho Hum.

posted by joromu at 04:14 PM on April 07

Don't be surprised if the Penguins are doing the same thing and will probably end up with a new arena in Pittsburgh. Ho Hum. Well, they've been begging for a new arena for a while now, and have been spurned every time. I think it's probably go-time for the Penguins and wouldn't be surprised to see them move. Saddened, but not surprised.

posted by grum@work at 04:24 PM on April 07

With a record of 19-43 why would ANY city want that team. Pittsburgh's season was over before opening day. Why would anyone pay for overpriced tickets to watch them? It would be a dumb move on the part of Hartford. Just to say they ahve an ''NHL'' franchise.

posted by joromu at 04:26 PM on April 07

Remember when St. Louis had the football Cardinals and the baseball Cardinals at the same time? Maybe the baseball thugs muscled the football Cards out of town? Oddly enough, the NFL franchise moved from Chicago in 1960, where they had been known as the ... Cardinals. The two co-existed peacefully until 1988, when the football fans of St. Louis finally reached their boiling point and raised nary a complaint when Bill Bidwell took his cheap, no-playoff-making, let's-draft-Steve-Fucking-Little ass out west to torment the people of Phoenix.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:49 PM on April 07

With a record of 19-43 why would ANY city want that team. I suspect you were trying to be insulting, joromu, but I'll actually answer you. Losing teams sometimes become winning teams, and at the beginning of every year, all teams are tied for first. And a mediocre team is better than no team at all. People in Hartford, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and godknowswhere else are very interested in having an NHL team in their town, no matter what their record was last season.

posted by chicobangs at 04:56 PM on April 07

With a record of 19-43 why would ANY city want that team. Pittsburgh's season was over before opening day. Why would anyone pay for overpriced tickets to watch them? Crosby. And also the excitement of having hockey back in Hartford. But mostly Crosby.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:01 PM on April 07

So what team was it listed that the players who played for the Browns and moved to Baltimore played for? That's an odd question. They were Browns players before the move and Ravens players after. The team name and records stayed behind to help placate Cleveland's fans after Art Modell absconded with the franchise.

posted by rcade at 05:06 PM on April 07

Remember when St. Louis had the football Cardinals and the baseball Cardinals at the same time? Actually I don't. Maybe it's because I'm too young. Maybe it's because I'm not a baseball fan and haven't been a football fan that long. But that must have been confusing. I can imagine opening up the paper around baseball playoff time and seeing a headline "Cardinals Win" just to find out it was only the football team.

posted by njsk8r20 at 07:23 PM on April 07

At least they won't be going back to play in the shopping mall, I mean Hartford Civic Center and oh yeah,, what happens to the Hartford Wolfpack then?

posted by doggstarr at 07:51 PM on April 07

But that must have been confusing. I can imagine opening up the paper around baseball playoff time and seeing a headline "Cardinals Win" just to find out it was only the football team. Back in the '80s it wasn't cofusing at all. If you read or heard that the Cards won, you just assumed it was the baseball team. No matter what month it was.

posted by NoMich at 07:58 PM on April 07

I don't think that this is such a bad idea, that is him buying the team and building the new stadium but as long as he is wanting to move the team, I think that he has one to many bolts loose in his head. I don't think that it makes much sense because Hartford had the Whalers and they lost them so you can't move a team and pretend that they are the same as the original.

posted by kozak90 at 09:26 PM on April 07

I don't think that this is such a bad idea, that is him buying the team and building the new stadium but as long as he is wanting to move the team, I think that he has one to many bolts loose in his head. I don't think that it makes much sense because Hartford had the Whalers and they lost them so you can't move a team and pretend that they are the same as the original.

posted by kozak90 at 09:26 PM on April 07

I always figured the next NHL city was going to be Oklahoma City, esp after NO's Bball experience there. I lived outside of OKC for a bit over a year and they're jones'n for pro teams there.

posted by commander cody at 10:02 PM on April 07

With a record of 19-43 why would ANY city want that team. In 1992-93, the Ottawa Senators went 10-70-4. It was their worst record in franchise history. The same year, the Pittsburgh Penguins went 56-21-7. It was their best record in franchise history. Amazing how things have changed... Success (if properly managed) is a cycle. After a team peaks, you bring in the new guard and build a winner again. The Penguins may stink right now, but with Crosby, Malkin and Fleury, they are starting to build a team that should compete in a few years.

posted by grum@work at 01:02 AM on April 08

Not only Crosby, Malkin (will be a great player), Fleury, but also another likely top pick this year... maybe even Johnson. Which would leave them with two very talented and young forwards, a talented and young goalie, and a talented and young defenseman. With that in the pipes, the Pens are easily going to improve (then again, that's what we said at the start of this year. hah)

posted by mkn at 01:24 AM on April 08

Hartford had the Whalers and they lost them so you can't move a team and pretend that they are the same as the original. You can say Hartford lost the Whalers, but Peter Karmanos (the owner) put on a jersey and threw the game. First he tried to use the season ticket numbers to move the team and was unsuccessful. Then he went to the arena and when the state was ready to help build one but wouldn't pay him back for losses, Karmanos was moving the team. Where to, he didn't care...Carolina was announced after he said he was moving the team. That's the owner not Hartford, not Connecticut, not the fans. This whole Hartford failed once stuff is garbage. If they can get an arena, they've got as good a shot as anyone else with an arena. As far as the name goes, the CDA owns it so I guess the can use it how they wish. Only makes sense to apply it to an NHL team. So long as the team isn't trying to break itself from Hartford's NHL history, I'd hope it would return. oh yeah,, what happens to the Hartford Wolfpack then? Aren't the Wolfpack owned by MSG/Rangers? Since MSG owns the Civic Center, I guess they could continue to play there. So long as the Civic Center stays.

posted by YukonGold at 07:43 AM on April 08

As far as history goes, I'd also hope Hartford could maintain its original records and not adopt the Penguins history. Pittsburgh should have rights to those if/when the climate changes and they can hopefully have a team return. ...TV/radio market overlap from Boston and NYC? The Whalers used to be televised on Sportschannel New England, which has now become FSNNE. They've become a very Boston-centric station but do not televise hockey and could be a potential home. FSNNE currently televises Celtics games. Not sure if there are other FSN outlets who do both NBA and NHL together?

posted by YukonGold at 07:52 AM on April 08

With a record of 19-43 why would ANY city want that team? Ahem. I live just outside Toronto, and I would happily swap you rosters, management and staff, so long as we get to keep the Leaf name.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:57 AM on April 08

As of this week, FSNNE is broadcasting its nightly wrapup show in NYC.

posted by yerfatma at 09:35 AM on April 08

Not sure if there are other FSN outlets who do both NBA and NHL together? If im not mistaken the FSNSO station here broadcasts Thrashers, Hawks, and Braves games durring the season(s).

posted by Folkways at 10:21 AM on April 08

They should move to Hartford and use the Whalers name. Just think of the cool logo - an Orka tossing a Penguin in the air just before the fatal bite.

posted by drevl at 11:01 AM on April 08

Of course, they could still move to Kansas City and expand on the rich NHL legacy that was the Kansas City Scouts. (That is, if the New Jersey Devils are willing to let their earliest years as a franchise go.)

posted by chicobangs at 12:01 PM on April 08

Chico, I thought the Devils earliest years were as the Colorado Rockies?

posted by drevl at 06:23 PM on April 08

Not quite. It's not much of a history, but, well, that was where that franchise began.

posted by chicobangs at 07:35 PM on April 08

Well, I'm not greedy. If it was up to me, I'd give those two seasons back to KC and let them have the Scouts name and logo. I'm just glad that the Devils didn't end up going to Nashville like it was rumored to in 1995. I guess winning a Stanley Cup put an end to that.

posted by njsk8r20 at 07:49 PM on April 08

heck i think i still have hockey cards of the k.c. scouts..lol!!!!!!!!

posted by ktown at 09:37 AM on April 09

Thanks, Chico. I like to learn something new every day. Today I learned - don't question Chico (actually, I think I already knew that).

posted by drevl at 10:35 AM on April 09

"Totally offset by the fact they can play their games in a ***** mall. Who else can make that claim, besides the studs at EB?" The Oilers could if they had to--their practice facility is in the West Edmonton Mall.

posted by silverpie at 12:59 PM on April 10

So what team was it listed that the players who played for the Browns and moved to Baltimore played for? Having lost my train of thought, when I first read this I thought you were talking about baseball. I had never made the connection before that two teams called the Browns have relocated to Baltimore. Interesting. Sort of. People in Hartford, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and godknowswhere else are very interested in having an NHL team in their town, no matter what their record was last season. Don't count me in. Living in the Greater Hartford region as I do, I get my hockey fix much cheaper by watching the Wolfpack, and I'm close enough to both Boston and New York/Long Island to go to either when I want to catch NHL action. By my count (which doesn't count for that much) the Whalers have a devoted but small (by major league sporting standards) existing base here. I'm not convinced that a new team would attract enough converted Bruins/Rangers/Islanders/old Whalers fans to make it a profitable franchise.* *Bearing in mind that I have absolutely no knowledge of the financial structure of the NHL or what it would take to make one of its clubs "profitable." Just throwing my two cents in regarding my assessment of fan interest.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:45 PM on April 10

I'm not sure about that BullpenPro because Hartford would have the added bonus of getting a team that should be on the rise and has Crosby. Heck, they don;t even need to be on the rise because Crosby himself should help build a fanbase.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:00 PM on April 11

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