Crank up the “Brass Bonanza,” slap on your Ray Ferraro mustache, and check your spelling of “Sidorkiewicz” because this season the Carolina Hurricanes will be bringing back an old favorite.
When the Hurricanes host the Boston Bruins on Dec. 23, it’ll be Whalers Night and the franchise will return to its roots against their old Adams Division rivals and wear these beauties:
(Note the small Hurricanes touch inside the collar.)
“We’re proud of the history and traditions that we’ve built in 21 years in North Carolina. But we’ve never thrown away the records established during this franchise’s 18 NHL seasons in Connecticut,” said Hurricanes President and GM Don Waddell in a statement. “This is a chance to celebrate our team’s heritage and the players and coaches who laid the groundwork for this franchise.”
The jerseys, which the Whalers wore from 1985-89 and 1990-91, will also be worn March 5 when the Hurricanes visit the Bruins.
Sadly, Chuck Kaiton won’t be around to call those games.
The Whalers played their final NHL game on April 13, 1997 three weeks before owner Peter Karmanos announced the franchise would move to Raleigh, North Carolina to become the Hurricanes.
This move doesn’t come as a surprise when you remember new Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon’s comments from earlier this year. In speaking with ESPN 99.9 The Fan in Raleigh in January, he was open to the idea of bringing back Whalers jerseys for games.
“I think that’s an unbelievably good look. I love it,” Dundon said. “I think we should have a store that sells that Whalers merchandise online. I think we should explore playing games in that jersey and selling that gear. It’s part of the legacy.”
Whalers gear has been available for purchase in the NHL’s online shop and their store in New York City for several years, and not long after that Dundon interview the Hurricanes began selling the beloved vintage merchandise in their stores. A weird techno version of “Brass Bonanza” was even a candidate in the team’s goal song contest over the summer, losing out to Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up.”
Now, as Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy hopes, will the Hurricanes ever play a game back in Hartford with these jerseys?
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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.