Hartford Whalers was an ice hockey team that was based in Hartford, Connecticut. The Whalers started to play in the World Hockey Association (WHA) at 1972. Team moved to the NHL 1979 and played there from 1979 to 1997. After that the Whalers franchise relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina where it became the Carolina Hurricanes.
A short history
The Whalers franchise was created 1971 as the New England Whalers, when WHA awarded team to begin play in Boston. The Whalers was relocated to Hartford 1974, because they found themselves fourth in priority at Boston. New England Whalers did not never win WHA championship, but they were successful team, never missing the playoffs in league history. When WHA merged to NHL in 1979, the Whalers was one of the four franchises admitted to NHL – they changed team name to Hartford Whalers same time. The Whalers was never as successful in NHL as they had been in WHA. They played 18 years in NHL and made the Stanley Cup playoffs eight times and won only one out of eight playoff series.
The best period of the Whalers was between 1985-1992 – they went to the NHL playoffs seven times a row. After season 1991-92 team would not never reach the playoffs. Owner Peter Karmanos, that purchased team 1994, was very frustrated with small attendance and little corporate support after two year as an owner. After few successful campaigns, the Whalers got some extra time, but in early 1997 Karmanos made decision to moved the team to Raleigh, North Carolina and named to Carolina Hurricanes.
Ron Francis was one of the Hartford Whalers key players and he has played most games at franchise history – Francis was introduced closely with Carolina Hurricanes team introduce.
Kevin Dineen was drafted by the Whalers 56th overall in 1982 NHL Draft. This was good pick, although the Whalers was a famous to do bad draft decisions and trades. Kevin Dineen played two times with the Whalers 1984-91 and 1995-97, he continued to play with franchise 1997-99 after it moved to Carolina. Kevin Dineen played 587 games with Whalers and made 503 (235+268) points during that period.
Legendary Gordie Howe played one season with the Whalers (1979-80). He played all 80 games and scores 41 (15+26) points. At that season Howe become the oldest man to play an NHL game – he was then 52 years and 10 days old.