New Connecticut Whale logo designed to reap rewards of Hartford Whalers nostalgia


Nostalgia is a funny thing in the field of sports and entertainment. You have to toe the line between playing on people’s fond memories and beating a dead horse of memories.

At some point during the 2010-11 AHL season, the Hartford Wolf Pack will become the Connecticut Whale. Bob Connors of NBC Connecticut reports that the Whalers Sports and Entertainment Group unveiled the team’s new logo today, playing on the old Hartford Whalers logo while also emphasizing the mascot’s role reversal (as the team is now named after the hunted, rather than the hunters, so to speak).

“We wanted to not only incorporate our traditional Whaler green, but focus on the whale, the official animal of the state of Connecticut,” according to Howard Baldwin, chairman of the Whale franchise.

The team will also keep “Pucky the Whale” as the official “live” team mascot.

Here is the new Connecticut Whale logo:


First, the good: The nostalgia-inducing nod to the Whalers’ old colors is a wise move. Unless your team mascot is a grizzly bear or some kind of fierce beast, it’s usually wise to go the “cute mean” route, which is certainly the case with the Connecticut Whale. I especially dig the water spewing from the whale’s blowhole.

Now, the bad: Well, for one thing, it’s not the Whalers logo. Some might settle for nothing less. Also, I’m annoyed by the recent trend of teams using singular nouns as their mascots. From the Heat to the Lightning to the Thunder, these team names are irritating. However, people still refer to the Hartford Whalers as “The Whale” so this is the most acceptable use of the single-noun mascot name. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a little obnoxious, though.

Anyway, enough of my reactions to The Whale. How do you feel about it? Is it a shameless tug on the emotional heart strings of people who still cannot accept the existence of the Carolina Hurricanes or a shrewd business move? Do you find yourself compelled to buy one of their jerseys or cannot help but be indifferent? Let us know in the comments.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane
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On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.