Today is a happy yet ultimately sad day in Connecticut History. On this date in 1986 Hartford hosted the annual National Hockey League All-Star Game. This was when Hartford still had its beloved (at least in my opinion) Hartford Whalers playing NHL hockey here in little old Connecticut. Alas, the Whalers left town in 1997, bound for the hockey hotbed of North Carolina. (Take note of my sarcasm please.) The Whalers were a huge part of my youth. Inspiring in me a love of playing and watching hockey that still goes on today. I even have one of my old Whaler banners hanging in my son’s room and I’m trying to teach him to hum “Brass Bonanza” (awesome song, listen!!)each time he scores a goal when we play street hockey together in our driveway……But I digress.
In the spirit of this momentous date I decided to see if there are any notable inventions from Connecticut that have something to do with hockey. From the Union Hardware Company of Torrington we have an improved ice skate dating to 1931:
There is also the Water Retaining Recreational Structure for Swimming Pools and the Like (read: “backyard ice-rink”) from Coleco Industries in 1966:
Now the Whalers had an cool logo that they wore on their early jerseys,(when they were known as the New England Whalers) featuring a harpoon of the type used in Connecticut’s past when whaling was one of the state’s leading industries.
So naturally we have some harpoon inventions from Connecticut:
The Whalers are alive and well in the hearts and minds of many hockey nuts in Connecticut today. We even have a couple Whalers souvenirs as part of the museum’s collection. Someday maybe NHL hockey will return to Hartford……:) Occasionally I see someone wearing a retro Whalers hat or jersey which makes me smile and start humming Brass Bonanza. I think I still have a T-Shirt from that All Star game I bought back in 1986. Now that I think about it, maybe it will fit my son…….! Long Live the Whale!!!