Over the last 6 years there have been four different attempts to get a minor league hockey franchise established in Danbury, Connecticut, the latest venture though looks to be the most secure; Tuesday the nascent Federal Hockey League unveiled one of the new franchises, the Danbury Whalers. The Whale is BACK!
While the other attempts at hockey failed in Danbury, the Whalers intend to stick around, showing confidence in their venture by signing a 10-year lease with the Danbury Arena. The previous team, the Danbury Mad Hatters signed a mere 5-year lease a year ago in what turned out to be the one and only season.
“I know you guys have seen a couple teams come in and out of here, a couple teams come and go. Our goal is not to have that happen. Our goal is that will not happen,” said Rich Lisk, the FHL’s executive vice president in charge of marketing business development. ”We will be here for the next 20 or 30 years.”
The new-look Whalers will be awfully familiar to the fans of the original NHL franchise which bolted for greener pastures in 1997 to Charlotte. The team’s colors will be green and blue, the logo is a near-ringer for he old one and team officials announced that “Brass Bonanza” the Whalers theme song will be played at all games.
While 4 teams have failed in recent years, one thing has remained, the passion of the Danbury hockey fans. Ira Schwartz, a local hockey fan who was in attendance at the opening press conference proudly proclaimed: “This is going to be the worst place for a visiting team to play again. Hell is back.”