April 23, 2013

Whale expected to go back to being Hartford Wolf Pack

By Jesse Connolly

Boxford, Mass., native Chris Kreider (right) and the Whale failed to make it to the 2013 AHL playoffs. (Photo: Chris Rutsch/Connecticut Whale)

After two straight playoff appearances following their rebranding, the Connecticut Whale will be not be playing postseason hockey this spring.

The Whale all but imploded during the AHL regular season’s final weeks, going 0-5-1 over their last six games. During that time, they were outscored 20-10, capping off their schedule with a 5-1 loss in Portland to the Pirates. This is just the second time the team has failed to qualify for the playoffs since moving to Hartford back in 1997.

"At the end of the day, we needed one more win," coach Ken Gernander told the Hartford Courant. "Inconsistency throughout those games … we just had some lapses. You needed a heightened sense of urgency. That wasn't there."

The loss marked not only the end of the road for Connecticut in 2012-13, but also – according to a CBS report – their final game being known as the Whale.

According to WTIC’s Scott Gray’s sources, the franchise will make an announcement at Madison Square Garden – home of the team’s parent club, the New York Rangers – that the franchise will be returning to its old name, the Hartford Wolf Pack, this week.

Global Spectrum, which was awarded the bid to run the XL Center, will be inheriting business operations for the club, which supposedly considered calling the team the Hartford Rangers before settling on the decision to revive the Wolf Pack brand.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com