Guess who’s back? Back again. Whalers are back. Tell your friends ♫
On Saturday, January 11th, the Carolina Hurricanes will once again wear their oh-so-very-great green Hartford Whalers throwback uniforms. The ‘Canes had previously worn this 1985-89, 1990-91 design for two games against the Boston Bruins during last year’s 2018-19 season.
This time ’round their opponent will be the Los Angeles Kings who, despite having a white throwback uniform in their current rotation which overlaps this era, will not be wearing their modern day set. The Kings are in the midst of a five-game road trip and bringing along two full sets of uniforms just isn’t practical. We’ll see those uniforms on February 22nd.
I kinda love that Carolina was able to sneak in a subtle reference to their current identity, a tonal black and blue storm warning flag pattern on the inside collar. A nice way to pay tribute to the entire history of this franchise.
The Hartford Whalers logo, my all-time favourite, was designed by Peter Good in 1979 as the team was preparing to shift from the World Hockey Association to the NHL.
When Good started to design the now iconic logo, the only precedent he had to work with was the logo for the WHA’s New England Whalers, who used a logo featuring an actual harpoon, the likes of which actual people use to kill actual whales. While sensibilities may have been different then, this still caused some conceptual problems. For obvious reasons, Good wanted to take a completely different approach.
“I did a version, it had the negative H in the W, but instead of the whale’s tail, it had harpoons working with it. And [team owner] Howard Baldwin actually chose it. He said ‘I like that one.’ I said ‘Why do you like that one?’ He said, ‘Because it has the H for Hartford,’ and I said, ‘Wait a minute. That was not a requirement. That was just one that I tried. Now that I know that, give me some more time.'”
The logo has certainly survived the test of time, it’s far more popular now than it ever was while the team was actually in existence, this announcement today and the anticipated positive reaction to it only confirms that.
“I was asked for an interview on a North Carolina radio station,” Good told us back in 2014, “because they were saying that all the Carolina Hurricane fans were coming in with Whalers apparel on.”
For this year’s game the Hurricanes will, once again, be theming the whole night around the Whalers. Pucky the Whale will be in attendance as will former Whaler Jordy Douglas who will participate in the ceremonial puck drop and sign autographs before the game.
In addition to retro Whalers merchandise being made available for purchase at the team store, the first 10,000 fans entering the arena will receive a pack of Upper Deck “Whalers Night” trading cards and the first 7500 will get a swell Whalers Night 2020 poster.