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milhousevh

15 years ago today

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As much as I am about moving forward, today is an appropriate day to start a thread about the last NHL game in Hartford 15 years ago today. I think it would be cool if we posted what we remember about that day- if we were at the game or watching it somewhere or whatever.

 

I was at the game in my seats in Section 309 (now Section 240) for the final game. Obviously, we all know the emotion that went on at that game. Dineen's goal seemed like it was scripted out of a movie.

 

The morning of the game my friends and I made a banner to bring to the game that said "Kuck Farmanos". We got to the game early and hung the banner, got a few photos of it but then it was removed by security.

 

My buddy snuck in his video camera (they were huge back then) and was filming the game. Security approached him in the 2nd period and told him to give them the tape, he re**sed so they kicked him out of the arena. He watched the rest of the game from Coaches. He still has the tape, I believe.

 

After the game was over, another friend and I snuck on the freight elevator down to the locker room area and talked to some of the players. It was a weird feeling knowing that they were leaving for good after that game.

 

Time marches on and memories fade, but I will always remember that day.

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I remember sitting in my apartment with my little brother watching on TV and thinking that something was gonna save them and that it wasn't the last game. After all, Karmanos had no destination yet. I was sure that something would intervene and we'd see our boys again in September for the pre-season. Then the game ended and the players took those laps around the arena. Dineen spoke. It was really over. I was in denial and I realized it and we sobbed. We both came to realize that we were guilty of taking the team for granted. We poked **n at how bad they were over the years. Loved our "Hartford Failures" but never thought it would ever end. It did. It has. I still can't watch that broadcast because I go right back to sitting on the floor in front of my couch choking back tears as Kevin Dineen led the players around the arena to a standing ovation. Excuse me...I need a moment....

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I was at the game the night before the announcement (against Colorado, a 4-0 loss, Patrick Roy was absolutely incredible), and I vowed I would not put another penny in that fat *****'s pocket. So I set my VCR (no DVD's back then) and taped the last game, while watching it the whole time. I sat alone...in my room, and literally cried until I couldn't cry anymore. Then when SportsChannel went off the air, I rewound the tape and watched it all over again.

 

For at least 10 years after that, on April 13, I would take the tape out and watch it...and cry all over again. I haven't watched it in a long time now...and that's probably a good thing.

 

It is very, very hard to believe it has been 15 years. The memories are still very, very vivid. They're gone, and while it's likely they'll never return....never, ever, ever forget the wonder**l memories of that team. They were the "Failures", and the one I hate the most, by Kevin Paul Douchepont of the Boston Globe...the "Forever .500s", but they were always....ALWAYS..."Our Hartford Whalers".

 

I too need a moment....excuse me....

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I was at the Colorado game when Roy played like he was insane, and when they announced him as the first star, he came out and waved to everyone like crazy. If he wasn't Roy, you would think he was showboating and giving one to the fans. I was con**sed. When I came home and saw the news, I realized Roy had already found out what was going on, and he was saying goodbye to Hartford and us Whalers fans. I wish I knew that then so I could appreciate that moment.

 

I was also at the last game. I remember them playing "Br***** Bonanza like 10 times during pre-game warmups. I was wearing a white New England Whalers jersey and a couple guys I didn't know asked if they could have my picture taken with them. That was cool. Per Jeff Jacobs's request, my brother and I stood up at 10:00 of the second period to clap in support of John Cullen's cancer fight. They played "Br***** Bonanza" in its entirety once during a TV timeout, and when the Whalers hit the ice for the third period after Greg Gilmartin said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, and Whalers fans across the world, here are your Hartford Whalers!" I recall Greg saying, Oooooooone minute to play in Hartford" and the last thing after the game was, "there really isn't much more to say. Goodnight." I watched him walk across the ice and the Whalers logo for the last time, looking up and around, and it took him a good 10 minutes.

 

We were one of the last people to leave the arena, but I didn't feel any closure. I didn't feel it was the end. I still don't. That was the only time I wore that New England Whalers jersey, and I told my brother I won't wear it again until the next NHL Whalers game in Hartford.

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My favorite memory about the Whalers final season is I went to the last games against the Bruins and the Canadiens. I saw the Whalers beat the Bruins, March 12th at Veterans Memorial Coliseum by a score of 6-3. Great to beat the Bruins one last time.

 

Then I traveled up to Montreal in April to see the Whalers vs Canadiens. The Whalers beat the Canadiens 4-1. Several Montreal fans were asking me are they going to be the Nashville Whalers, Columbus Whalers? The fans in Montreal couldnt believe they were leaving.

 

The Whalers were honored by the Canadiens as they were allowed to wear their home whites for their last game at the Molsen Centre'. The Whalers played great they beat the Canadiens 4-1 and took care of them without a hitch. At the end of the game as the Whalers crowded Burke the fans gave the Whalers a standing ovation for a good bye and farewell.

 

Good to experience the Whalers beating their two greatest opponents and they won each game by 3.

 

I never went to the last game I didnt even see the last game until April of 2007. I couldnt even watch it, finally after 10 years on a night with 10 beers I put it in with a friend and we watched it. It was the first time I saw the game. I watched it once but to me the **n isnt watching the last game its watching the random moments that you can see on Youtube the way it was when we werent wondering when the team would leave when we were an NHL city. We were a good NHL city. This really did not need to happen, thats what is truly sad about the last game.

 

Like shooting a horse with four good legs.

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I was at the final game and it was an extremely sad game to attend. It was a great game, but thinking this is the final time we'll see our team, colors and hear Br***** Bonanza was just agonizing! We have been tweeting all day today to celebrate Hartford NHL hockey and the 15th anniversary. In fact, we even tweeted a photo of my final game ticket stub - $50 admission! If you don't follow us - "WhalePack" on twitter, you can go to our website to see the entire game to relive the moments. Visit WhalePack.com click on the "Hartford Whalers" tab on the main page. We have video and photos from the final game. We highly recommend the "Hartford Whalers Final Game Tribute" video at the bottom of the page. SportsChannel did a terrific tribute video of Hartford hockey history that will surely bring a tear to your eye.

 

The one thing I can remember vividly in my mind was waking up the next morning feeling so sick and could not bring myself to go to work. I turned on the TV/VCR and watched the tape twice, start to finish. I had lunch and then proceeded to watch an up and coming young chef all afternoon on the Food Network - Emeril Lag*****e! **nny how you remember things like that! Go whale!

 

Thanks for starting this thread!

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Oh and we also forgot to mention, if you ever want to hear Br***** Bonanza, scroll to the bottom of the Whalers page and click the play button - the entire song!

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I couldn't get tickets for the last game, so I watched at home and taped it as well. Still have the teape but haven't watched it for a long time. The last game I went to was the game against Colorado, I believe it was the 3rd to the last home game. The Whalers outplayed and outshot the Avalanche, and the place was rocking. But Patrick Roy was standing on his head that night and Hartford was shut out 4 - 0.

 

Although the move had not yet been officially announced, everyone knew it was coming. Roy had an interesting comment following the game. He had been impressed with the fans, and asked, 'Why is this team moving?'

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I was fortunate to have seats for the last game behind the penalty box about 7 rows up (ill have to check the tickets when i go back from from my college dorm) that a family friend that worked at the arena had got me cause he heard i had just gotten into hockey a year earlier. I was only 6 so it was bittersweet that after only being able to go to 2 whalers games ever i would never get another opportunity again. I tried rooting for the hurricanes but i juts couldn't. And a few years later after one of my favorite players keith primeau became a flyer i fell in love with the broad street bullies that could talk trash and have goons yet also be at the top of the standings.

 

That day was certainly a special day in my life even thought i can vaguely remember the gameplay. I remember i was excited to leave my church on greenfield street in hartford to go to the game cause the services at church lasted forever. I remember Rob Zamuner on tampa bay cause his name sounded weird. I remember what i think was the 2 goalies fighting during that game as well i think. I always wondered how my life would be like if the whalers were still here but i take solace that i at least got to see them twice in the last season. I honestly think had i not gone to an islanders game earlier that year and went to that last game i most likely would have never gotten into youth hockey at age 7.

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Mr. Br***** Bonanza wrote :

> I was at the Colorado game when Roy played like he was insane, and when

> they announced him as the first star, he came out and waved to everyone

> like crazy. If he wasn't Roy, you would think he was showboating and giving

> one to the fans. I was con**sed. When I came home and saw the news, I

> realized Roy had already found out what was going on, and he was saying

> goodbye to Hartford and us Whalers fans. I wish I knew that then so I could

> appreciate that moment.

 

This is one of the reasons I respect Roy. Also while the Canadiens certainly broke our hearts, on every occasion I was in Montreal their fans were great to us, and they always treated us with kindness and respect. Nothing like Boston or NY. For some reason their fanbase always liked Hartford.

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I always appreciated Roy's kind comments about Hartford and thought he was an amazing goaltender, despite my hatred of him as the breaker of my Whaler heart on a constant basis over the years. Anyone remember Turcotte beating Roy on a backhand to win an OT game in April 1995, sending a sold-out Civic Center ape*****?

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Hartfordyouremyhome wrote :

> Mr. Br***** Bonanza wrote :

> > I was at the Colorado game when Roy played like he was insane, and when

> > they announced him as the first star, he came out and waved to everyone

> > like crazy. If he wasn't Roy, you would think he was showboating and giving

> > one to the fans. I was con**sed. When I came home and saw the news, I

> > realized Roy had already found out what was going on, and he was saying

> > goodbye to Hartford and us Whalers fans. I wish I knew that then so I could

> > appreciate that moment.

>

> This is one of the reasons I respect Roy. Also while the Canadiens certainly broke

> our hearts, on every occasion I was in Montreal their fans were great to us, and they

> always treated us with kindness and respect. Nothing like Boston or NY. For some

> reason their fanbase always liked Hartford.

I totally agree! And this is the reason why I have great respect for the Montreal Canadians. Great fans and a historically great team. I couldn't get tickets to the last game, but I do remember listening to the game on my car radio while I was on the Berlin Turnpike. It was very surreal for me.

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