Originally written on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 11/14/14

HARTFORD, December 2, 2011:  Since returning to Connecticut in 2010, we here at Whalers Sports & Entertainment have worked tirelessly, and accomplished much, in our goal of returning Hartford to preeminence as a hockey market.

We put on a Whaler Fan Fest two summers ago that delighted 5,000 Whaler enthusiasts, with a celebration of the great Whaler tradition.  We took over the operations of the market’s AHL franchise and re-branded it with a new identity, leading to a significant increase in the franchise’s revenues.  We expended tremendous amounts of capital and resources in a landmark outdoor hockey festival, which culminated in the first professional outdoor hockey game in Connecticut, the Harvest-Properties.com Whale Bowl this past February.  And just last month, we outlined and articulated a vision for renovating the XL Center and re-energizing it as a catalyst for downtown activity and atmosphere.

We will continue to leave no stone unturned in our quest to prove to the hockey world that the Hartford market is a tremendous hockey hotbed and deserves to be mentioned alongside some of the most passionate and committed in the sport.  As we do that, we challenge the fan base of the area to step up with a similar level of intensity and sense of urgency.

The holiday season not only signals the arrival of festive celebrations, but also the real meat of the hockey season.  We are over a quarter of the way through the season, and the rivalries are picking up, the points are getting more important and each game means more and more.  So there is no better time than now to jump in with both feet and help make a statement that this market cares deeply about the sport and is willing to support it in a significant way on a nightly basis.

We have great faith that there is more than enough interest and passion in the sport of hockey in Connecticut to make it the top market in the American Hockey League, with the potential for much more.  We need every hockey enthusiast in the area, though, to share our vision and the excited anticipation of five-figure crowds on a regular basis at the XL Center, and what a dynamic atmosphere, and eye-opening buzz, that would create.

Together we need to eliminate the lulls like the crowd of less than 2,000 that attended Tuesday  night’s Whale game, which turned out to be a great, gut-check win, a 4-2 victory over the Hershey Bears in the first-ever pro meeting between Hall of Famer Ray Bourque’s two sons, Ryan Bourque of the Whale and Chris Bourque of the Bears.  And we need to make the highs higher, get 10-12,000 rocking the XL Center on the good Friday and Saturday-night dates, which there is plenty of potential to do, with many excellent weekend dates coming up after the First of the Year.

With more than three-quarters of the home schedule still left to be played, a multi-game plan, or even a season ticket, is still a great investment.  And Whale single-game tickets are as affordably priced as any entertainment option you could possibly find.

Now is the time to push the Whale to new heights, and we have to do it together


Report: Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

Is Rampage Jackson heading back to the UFC?

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach


Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

WATCH: Utah runs trick play on first offensive play of game

Mick Cronin misses game with unruptured aneurism

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Kings, Nets talking Deron Williams trade

WATCH: DeSean mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.