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Early Hartford Whaler Logo Designs

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I'm with Mockba and BiB. The navy, green, and silver Whalers identity was among the best in the history of the NHL, hands down. In fact I think the Whalers' change in 1992 is a perfect example of how to update a team identity without going overboard (pardon the nautical pun).

The logo is simply fantastic. They would have one of, if not the, best, most iconic looks of a post-Original Six team had they survived in Hartford (assuming they didn't mess with a good thing, which, as evidenced by the Blues and the switch to the Edge sweaters isn't guaranteed).

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I'm with Mockba and BiB. The navy, green, and silver Whalers identity was among the best in the history of the NHL, hands down. In fact I think the Whalers' change in 1992 is a perfect example of how to update a team identity without going overboard (pardon the nautical pun).

Sometimes I forget that Hartford isn't even on the ocean. Stupid Whalers.

The logo is simply fantastic. They would have one of, if not the, best, most iconic looks of a post-Original Six team had they survived in Hartford (assuming they didn't mess with a good thing, which, as evidenced by the Blues and the switch to the Edge sweaters isn't guaranteed).

Flyers would've owned that title if not for the ill-advised switch to black sweaters. Sabres should've stuck with their good thing. Man, so many bad ideas in hockey.

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Very cool to see a few different designs that the artist considered. Some of them make it impossible to miss the H, but I will add myself to the club that never noticed it in the original. :blush:

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The logo is simply fantastic. They would have one of, if not the, best, most iconic looks of a post-Original Six team had they survived in Hartford (assuming they didn't mess with a good thing, which, as evidenced by the Blues and the switch to the Edge sweaters isn't guaranteed).

Flyers would've owned that title if not for the ill-advised switch to black sweaters. Sabres should've stuck with their good thing. Man, so many bad ideas in hockey.

Bad indeed. I knew a kid back in high school who though the Flyers looked "bad ass" in their black sweaters, and when I said I preferred the orange he went on about them looking like traffic cones. And the Sabres? What were they thinking?

Still, I prefer the Whalers' most recent set to either of those teams' classic uniforms. The Flyers, when done right, look great, but I just like the colours of the Whalers more, and the logo really puts it over the top. The Sabres' classic set was pretty nice, but felt slightly off, with the repeating of the primary mark on the shoulders. I really hope they don't do that again when they go with the modernized classics full time next season.

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since we're talking about it, I'll agree that these

keithprimeau2.jpg

were so much better than these

francis.jpg

and I love the Whalers logo as evidenced by its inclusion in the favorite logos section of my profile.

Totally disagree.

Maybe its just nostalgia kicking in because I grew up watching the Whale in the green unis, but they are beautiful. I usually think this color combo is highly overrated in sports (i.e. Seahawks and Mavericks) But in this case it works for me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Navy unis were awful....just not close to being as good as the old green ones. Hell, I would take the Navy Whaler unis over those red Hurricane jerseys anyday! ;)

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Sometimes I forget that Hartford isn't even on the ocean. Stupid Whalers.

Actually there is a very good reason for that.

The team was originally named the "New England Whalers", which seemed fitting because the shores off the coast of New England were the world's top whaling areas for quite some time. They were forced to drop 'New England' for 'Hartford' because when they merged into the NHL the Boston Bruins were already in existence, or else they probably would have kept the name.

Hopefully that helps.

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Sometimes I forget that Hartford isn't even on the ocean. Stupid Whalers.

Actually there is a very good reason for that.

The team was originally named the "New England Whalers", which seemed fitting because the shores off the coast of New England were the world's top whaling areas for quite some time. They were forced to drop 'New England' for 'Hartford' because when they merged into the NHL the Boston Bruins were already in existence, or else they probably would have kept the name.

Hopefully that helps.

Ahh, revisionist history.

They took the name originally because ownership thought it would be neat to use "WHA" in the team name. Any actual historical significance took a back seat to their clever wordsmanship.

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Sometimes I forget that Hartford isn't even on the ocean. Stupid Whalers.

Actually there is a very good reason for that.

The team was originally named the "New England Whalers", which seemed fitting because the shores off the coast of New England were the world's top whaling areas for quite some time. They were forced to drop 'New England' for 'Hartford' because when they merged into the NHL the Boston Bruins were already in existence, or else they probably would have kept the name.

Hopefully that helps.

Ahh, revisionist history.

They took the name originally because ownership thought it would be neat to use "WHA" in the team name. Any actual historical significance took a back seat to their clever wordsmanship.

I've honestly never heard that, and would be curious to read any stories or official articles that you could provide about that. Regardless, I still contend that the whaling history of the area has a lot to do with the origin of the name.

Its not like the team sat in a room and said:

"Hey lets find a way to put WHA in the team name...any ideas???"

"The New England WHAves?"

"New England BloWHArds?"

"I got it!!!! the WHAlers!!! and it just so happens that Whaling was kind of important in that area way back when. What a coincidence!!!!!"

:)

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since we're talking about it, I'll agree that these

keithprimeau2.jpg

were so much better than these

francis.jpg

and I love the Whalers logo as evidenced by its inclusion in the favorite logos section of my profile.

I agree on the later colors, but against a white background I'd rather not have the outline around the logo.

For jersey crest only, I'd take this

33-96715-F.jpg

over this

patverbeek2.jpg

The look is just cleaner, less cluttered.

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I still disagree.

I could definitely get behind Spyboy's "fantasy third" for the latter version (minus the whale on the shoulders):

4231917804_be11338399_o.jpg

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Sometimes I forget that Hartford isn't even on the ocean. Stupid Whalers.

Actually there is a very good reason for that.

The team was originally named the "New England Whalers", which seemed fitting because the shores off the coast of New England were the world's top whaling areas for quite some time. They were forced to drop 'New England' for 'Hartford' because when they merged into the NHL the Boston Bruins were already in existence, or else they probably would have kept the name.

Hopefully that helps.

Ahh, revisionist history.

They took the name originally because ownership thought it would be neat to use "WHA" in the team name. Any actual historical significance took a back seat to their clever wordsmanship.

I've honestly never heard that, and would be curious to read any stories or official articles that you could provide about that. Regardless, I still contend that the whaling history of the area has a lot to do with the origin of the name.

Its not like the team sat in a room and said:

"Hey lets find a way to put WHA in the team name...any ideas???"

"The New England WHAves?"

"New England BloWHArds?"

"I got it!!!! the WHAlers!!! and it just so happens that Whaling was kind of important in that area way back when. What a coincidence!!!!!"

:)

This was the 70's. That's not far from how it probably happened.

All of my WHA history comes from former players and execs sitting in bars or my dad's living room shooting the :censored: about league and team business. If we couldn't believe what Ben Hatskin told us while boozing it up in a wheelchair, then we might as well not believe in Santa either.

There's really no reason to believe any official team literature about those histories, because they'll always be written in such a way that it sounds good. If no one here bought the line about the Oilers' alt gear logo representing team history and the oil industry and Todd MacFarlane's million dollar baseball, then why believe a team history for a 70's franchise that was written 30 years later? It's all revisionist history; if you're a comics fan, we'd just call it a retcon.

For example, the Winnipeg Jets; team histories will tell you that the name was chosen for "Winnipeg's emergence as an aerospace industry hub." BS. There was a local junior team called the Jets that was going under, and ownership was able to get the equipment and jerseys cheap. There was no "the colors were chosen due to the Rangers' close territorial relationship with Manitoba," those were just the failing team's colors.

I mean, you're free to believe in whichever story you like, I'm just repeating what was told to us, or my dad, while hanging out with dudes in the 70's. I tend to believe them more than what a PR company told us :)

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Riiight. Because nobody ever lied from a barstool. :P

There's really no reason to believe any official team literature about those histories, because they'll always be written in such a way that it sounds good.

Agreed, but the same appies to personal recollections, especially informal ones. Memories aren't much better than a press release for an unbiased, accurate account.

It's important to examine the likelihood of each story in turn, and the notion that the letters "WHA" were driving the naming selection just isn't very plausible.

Did they choose the name in part because it had the league's initials in it? Sure. I believe that. It's the kind of goofy "this was obviously meant to be" vibe I've had from management types in creative meetings. But did the initials come before "Whalers"? Strains credulity.

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I was aware that the name made more sense when they were a Boston-based team. I was under the impression that the WHA proviso came first, and "WHAlers" was the best application of it.

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Regardless, I still contend that the whaling history of the area has a lot to do with the origin of the name.

Without a doubt. That said, as former season-ticket holders for the Boston-based New England Whalers (my uncle's family in Connecticut purchased a season-ticket package when the team subsequently relocated to the Constitution State), my father and I both recall the team's original ownership group stating that while the Whalers nickname was chosen as a tribute to New England's whaling heritage, the fact that said name also prominently contained the acronym for the World Hockey Association was a clincher in settling on an identity.

Still, there's no escaping the fact that New England's whaling history was historically primarily centered in Massachusetts: New Bedford and Nantucket were the leading whaling ports, with a significant percentage of investment coming from well-heeled speculators in Boston. As a result, the New England Whalers name made more sense when the franchise was operating out of Boston. To be sure, the communities of New London and Mystic, Connecticut also played a role in whaling. However, Hartford never had any overt connection to the trade.

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Hartford was the birthplace of ill-fated Burger King fish sandwiches, so it ended up being kind of a Calgary Flames works-here-too scenario.

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Hartford was the birthplace of ill-fated Burger King fish sandwiches, so it ended up being kind of a Calgary Flames works-here-too scenario.

I LOL'ed.

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Hartford deserved a NHL team.

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Wow, all of those design sketches were actually very good. To me, the Whalers still have one of the greatest logos in NHL history. I was sad to see them go, but at the same time was glad to see the Hurricanes come into the league. It was one of those love/hate situations for me. I hope that the NHL can come back to Hartford one day.

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I ... was glad to see the Hurricanes come into the league.

Oh, that was you?

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I ... was glad to see the Hurricanes come into the league.

Oh, that was you?

...*sigh*... And me too. And many, many, many other North Carolinians. Some numbers, showing the last (most recent) 5 seasons of each team:

attendance.png

We love our Hurricanes. Even this year--when they clearly have the worst team since they moved here and also far and away the worst team in hockey--more people are coming out to see the Hurricanes than came in Hartford, and they aren't finishing a single spot or two above the very bottom in league attendance, as the Whale consistently did. The capacity percentage is greater this year, when the Canes flat-out stink, than it was for all years in Hartford except the last season, when they knew they had lost the team. Sorry to get off-topic and rant, but I'm sick of hearing about how beloved the Whalers were and how no one in NC even cares about the Canes.

Back on topic, the Whalers' logo evolution from initial ideas to final product is incredibly interesting to see, and of great use to designers. Each of the iterations was solid and could have worked, but the designer kept working and tweaking until the best design emerged. (I actually really like the harpoon-tipped W in one of the sketches.) The concept was solid from the start and kept improving throughout the process, ending with what I consider to be one of the top-10 logos in all of sports history. It's simple, easily reproducible, instantly identifiable, unique, clever, and identifies both the city and team nickname. It is, for all intents and purposes, flawless.

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