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The Whalers

The Rise, Fall, and Enduring Mystique of New England’s (Second) Greatest NHL Franchise

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More than twenty years after departing Hartford, Connecticut, for Raleigh, North Carolina, the NHL’s Whalers continue to inspire passion among fans. As reported in 2015, “Whalers merchandise…still has a cult following not only among fans in Connecticut but around the country.” But Whalers devotees aren’t just clamoring for jerseys, hats and t-shirts. They’re nostalgic for a team that had New England roots for nearly 25 years–in Boston, Springfield, and Hartford–and featured some of the greatest players in NHL history, including Gordie Howe (with his sons Mark and Marty), Bobby Hull, and Ron Francis.

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