No one can argue Connecticut’s capital city is better off without the Hartford Whalers. The once bustling home of the Whalers is now filled with empty stores and sits across from a vacant hotel where fans used to camp out hoping to get an autograph from guys who appeared in highlights on ESPN.
Having said that, the city and the state are going to have to come up with another way to reverse Hartford’s years of decline and change its two steps forward one step back cycle of progress.
On Sunday’s Face the State, Governor Malloy said it is “unlikely” the NHL will restore a team to
Connecticut. The governor shared a conversation he had with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who didn’t give him much hope of a return of the Whalers. The Governor said this market (the largest tv market in the nation without a major league team) would not be at the top of the list for a team because of the failure to attract fans to minor league games.
Governor Malloy went on to talk about UConn’s upgrade of its hockey team, which he says could demonstrate fan support.
The Governor talks hockey @ 4:00 in the link right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7482270
There wasn’t large minor league hockey support in Raleigh, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Miami, Nashville, or Pheonix. However those markets recieved a team. Bettman has repeatedly said no team without a new arena. What the governor is saying the NHL is an unlikely return without a new arena. I believe Bettman would agree.
How did those minor league hockey teams do in Tampa or Miami or Nashville before getting an NHL team? Oh right, they didn’t even have a minor league team. I learned to play hockey on a pond, I’m guessing no one in San Jose, Anaheim, LA, Phoenix, Dallas, Nashville, Raleigh, Tampa, Miami, Washington DC, or even Philly did that. What a BS reason.