Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘New England Whalers’ tag

1972-1997 New England Whalers / Hartford Whalers

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1976-77 New England Whalers Media GuideWorld Hockey Association (1972-1979)
National Hockey League (1979-1997)

Born: November 1971 – WHA founding franchise
Moved: May 6, 1997 (Carolina Hurricanes)


Team Colors:


  • 1972-: Howard Baldwin, John Colburn, Godfrey Wood & William Barnes’
  • 1988-1989: Donald Conrad, Richard Gordon, et al.
  • 1994-1997: Peter Karmanos, Thomas Thewes & Jim Rutherford

WHA Champions: 1973
Stanley Cup Championships: None


Text Coming Soon…


New England Whalers Memorabilia


New England Whalers Video

New England Whalers upset the Soviet Red Army team at the Hartford Civic Center. December 27, 1976.


In Memoriam

Defenseman Brad McCrimmon (Whalers ’93-’96) died on September 7, 2011 in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster in Russia

Left wing Paul Cyr (Whalers ’90-’92) passed away from a heart attack on May 12, 2012 at age 48



World Hockey Association Media Guides

World Hockey Association Programs


November 15, 1977 – Indianapolis Racers vs. New England Whalers

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Rick Ley New England WhalersIndianapolis Racers vs. New England Whalers
November 15, 1977
Market Square Arena
Attendance: 7,334

World Hockey Association Programs


All eyes were on 49-year old Gordie Howe on this Tuesday evening in Indianapolis in November 1977.  Three network film crews were in the house at Market Square Arena, hoping to record the New England Whalers star as he scored his 1,000th professional goal.  Instead the legend got himself tossed out of the game.

Howe managed to get off a couple of shots in the first period, but they were turned away by Indianapolis Racers goalie Gary Inness.  While the Racers bottled up Howe, Mike Antonovich picked up the slack for New England, scoring a hat trick to pace a 6-4 Whalers victory.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game, Howe picked up a two-minute minor for tripping.  Howe flicked the puck in disgust, inadvertently (?) dinging referee Ron Ego.  In a move reminiscent of Billy Crystal ejecting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from his farewell game (Forget Paris, anyone? No?), Ego promptly slapped the legend with a game misconduct penalty.

Ultimately it would take Gordie Howe 11 more games to get his 1,000th goal.  The historic tally finally game on December 6th, 1977 against the Birmingham Bulls.  To this day, Howe remains the only player with 1,000 pro goals.

All things considered, it would have been a nice gesture for the Racers to put Gordie Howe on the cover of the evening’s game program (above right), but that’s Whalers captain Rick Ley pictured instead.



Written by AC

August 18th, 2014 at 1:08 am

October 30, 1974 – New England Whalers vs. Toronto Toros

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Frank Mahovlich Toronto TorosNew England Whalers vs. Toronto Toros
October 30, 1974
Eastern States Coliseum
Attendance: 3,602

World Hockey Association Programs


That’s future Hall-of-Famer Frank Mahovlich pictured on the cover of this October 1974 New England Whalers program from the World Hockey Association.  After engraving his name on six Stanley Cups over 18 NHL seasons, the 36-year old Mahovlich jumped to the rival WHA prior to its third season of play in June 1974, inking a four-year deal with the Toronto Toros franchise.

The Toros came in to Springfield, Massachusetts on this night as the hottest team in the WHA.  The team was 6-0 on the 1974-75 season and had a 12-game regular season win streak snaking back to the end of the 1973-74 campaign.  The host Whalers, meanwhile, were killing time in West Springfield in late 1974, waiting on the January 1975 grand opening of their permanent home at the new Hartford Civic Center.

Mahovlich didn’t factor in the scoring sheet on this night.  The game was tied 2-2 early in the third, but the Whalers broke it open with late goals from Tom Webster, Thommy Abrahamsson and Mike Byers.  New England’s 5-2 victory snapped the Toros win streak at twelve.

Mahovlich played the final four years of his career in the WHA, adding 89 goals to his 533 NHL tallies.  He retired in 1978 and was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981.



Toronto Toros Home Page


Written by AC

August 17th, 2014 at 1:51 am

October 28, 1972 – New England Whalers vs. Alberta Oilers

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Kevin Ahearn New England WhalersNew England Whalers vs. Alberta Oilers
October 28, 1972
Boston Arena
Attendance: ?

World Hockey Association Programs


Early game program from the first season of the World Hockey Association.  This October 28th, 1972 game was the 9th game in franchise history for both the New England Whalers (today the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL) and the visiting Alberta Oilers (today’s Edmonton Oilers).

It was also first Whalers game played at the 6,000-seat Boston Arena.  Out of necessity, the Whalers had to split their 1972-73 schedule between the 15,000-seat Boston Garden (where they had a contentious relationship with the NHL’s Bruins) and smaller, 62-year old bandbox on St. Botolph Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.  The Whalers pumped $200,000 into Boston Arena in 1972 to try to bring it up to a professional standard, but ultimately they would leave the building behind after their first season in the WHA.

That’s Milton, Mass. native and Boston College alum Kevin Ahearn pictured on the cover of the evening’s Harpoon Magazine game program.  Ahearn played on the 1972 U.S. Olympic Hockey team in Sapporo, Japan, but his pro career was a short one.  After appearing in 78 games for the Whalers and scoring 20 goals during the 1972-73 season, Ahearn spent the next two winters in the minors and was out of hockey by the age of 26 in 1975.

The Oilers won on this night 4-1 on the strength of 43 saves by Alberta goalie Jack Norris.



Written by AC

July 30th, 2014 at 3:27 pm

December 24, 1972 – New England Whalers vs. Los Angeles Sharks

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New England Whalers ProgramNew England Whalers vs. Los Angeles Sharks
December 24, 1972
Boston Garden
Attendance: 8,496

World Hockey Association Programs


MERRY CHRISTMAS, Fun While It Lasted readers.

40 years ago this very night here in my hometown…Santa Claus finds time to drop in at the old Boston Garden as the New England Whalers take on the Los Angeles Sharks in World Hockey Association action.

Saint Nick was not kind to the hosts. The visiting Sharks won 5-3, wasting a hat trick by the Whalers’ Larry Pleau.



Los Angeles Sharks Home Page


Written by AC

December 25th, 2012 at 3:07 am


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