The Whale Fails Again, Hartford Wolf Pack Returns

Written By:  •  Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Hartford-based American Hockey League team has decided to return to their roots and re-introduce a name with history and meaning to hockey fans in Connecticut.

That introductory paragraph could have been written three years ago, could have been written today.

A mere three seasons after ditching the Hartford Wolf Pack name in favour of the Connecticut Whale, in an effort to bring back some sense of their dear, departed NHL Hartford Whalers, the franchise yesterday announced that they will be ditching the Whale and returning to the Wolf Pack name.

The uniforms of the Hartford Wolf Pack and the Connecticut Whale

The team will remain affiliated with the New York Rangers and is returning to the exact same logo and colour scheme the franchise used during their final season as the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2009/10.

“The return to the Hartford Wolf Pack name signifies a return to the roots of this franchise, emphasizing the ties that this team has to the Hartford community” – NY Rangers assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld

Part of the reason for the name change was a switch in ownership, taking over is Global Spectrum – the Philadelphia based arena operations company.

“There is a rich hockey history here in Hartford, Our primary goals are to revitalize hockey in the Hartford market, enhance the experience for the fans and bring a high-level of customer service to the venues in which we manage.” – New Wolf Pack GM Chris Lawrence.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure similar quotes to those above were also used when announcing the switch from Wolf Pack to Whale three years ago.

On the top: the original Hartford Whalers logo and the proposed Connecticut Whalers AHL logo; after potential legal issues team went with the Whale logo and name seen at the bottom

While bringing back the old identity of the Hartford Whalers for this team may have been a good idea in theory, in reality it just didn’t work out.  Legal issues prevented the team from using the actual “Whalers” name or any logo that would have been anything similar to the original.  When encountered with those obstacles the club should have just stopped and retained the Wolf Pack name or find some other avenue to go down instead of trotting out the fan revolting (yet legally acceptable) identity which they did.

Regardless a silly mistake has been corrected.  Welcome back, Hartford Wolf Pack.

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net

  • Aaron

    As nice as it was to re-introduce the Whalers nameplate in some shape or form, I think the Wolfpack have a way better logo. But I’m wondering if the city of Hartford is really looking into getting an NHL team back and calling them the Whalers? Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Well regardless, glad they brought the Wolfpack name back.

  • bwild72

    karmanos is laughing somewhere

  • lulzy

    Their logo has a wolf on top of waves?

    • John Burlie

      @lulzy Actually, the term wolfpack is referring to Submarine tactics. The team is actually named after this tactic but also use a wolf. That’s why their secondary logo is a submarine with a wolf’s head.

  • Tony Scott

    Thank god. As a CT native, I felt insulted by the whole “Whale” thing. The Whalers are never coming back, and I don’t wanna be teased.

  • Ben

    Failed? Hardly. 4/10 of the largest attendances in Hartford-AHL history are under the Whale brand and that’s in a little over 2 years vs. 13 years under the Wolf Pack which if you want to label any brand a failure would be that one. 10 years of attendance decline, why do you think the Whale came about anyways? The WP were on their way out and the same WP fans who hate Baldwin have him to thank for saving their f’in precious WP in retrospect because the Rangers wouldn’t even be here still if it wasn’t for him stepping in. And also Chris, Global Spectrum wanted the Whale not Wolf Pack. No $ to be made with the WP brand and you’ll see that over the next 3 years. Global wants the Rangers out.

  • howard

    My daughter and I loved the Whale.We do not care about the Wolfpack.They will lose two fans.

  • Steven

    When the team took the Whale name, attendance jumped. As someone already mentioned here, they drew some of the biggest crowds in AHL history. Now the Wolf Pack is back, and attendance for the franchise is at a record low. So what was that about more fans liking the Wolf Pack name?