If you can’t remember what Hartford was like when the NHL here, or perhaps not even born yet, this Face the State flashback is a great refresher course. In 1986 Hartford hosted the NHL All-Star game and Whalers fever hit Connecticut because of the team’s unprecedented, albeit unsuccessful run for the Stanley Cup.
Even though the Whalers lost in the playoffs, the team was honored with a big parade through Downtown Hartford on May 2, 1986. In the vintage video I pulled from our the WFSB archives, you’ll hear from Ron Francis and some other players, and marvel at the enthusiasm the fans showed. Bars were packed, hats and shirts were flying off the shelves at the Hartford Whalers gift shop, children across Connecticut had temporary face tattoos, even churches got into the act.
You’ll hear the historic Christ Cathedral in downtown Hartford playing the Whalers fight song Brass Bonanza on its tower bells and see Gayle King reporting alongside a huge crowd at Bradley Airport to greet the team.
Watch it right here: http://www.wfsb.com/clip/12347354/in-1986-ct-celebrated-the-hartford-whalers