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Old Penguins owner wants to buy team...


gosioux76

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Thought you NHL fans would like to see this story that ran in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-re...e/s_194308.html

Apparently one of the people who would like to buy the Pens, should they go up for sale, is former owner Harold Baldwin. He's the guy that owned them when they won two cups.

Baldwin is part of a group of investors vying to move a team back to Hartford.

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Hmmm... the only problems with Mr. Baldwin's plan are:

1) His ownership regime is widely viewed within NHL circles as having been responsible for driving the Penguins to the verge of bankruptcy. So, why would the NHL open its doors to him again.

2) The NHL will be highly suspect of Hartford's ability to function as a 21st-century sports marketplace. The population base is too small, the insurance industry corporate base isn't exactly robust and the market is seen as being cannibalized by those of the Boston Bruins and New York-based clubs.

3) The NHL regards the Hartford Civic Center as an inadequate facility to house a team. It is aged, too small and without the luxury amenities seen as necessary in the modern era of pro sports. What's more, with a considerable amount of Connecticut's state money having recently been funneled into UConn's new football stadium (completed) and the new downtown Hartford convention center (under construction), it's going to be a bit difficult to justify another outlay of capital on yet another Hartford-based project to residents in other parts of the Nutmeg State.

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see the Whalers return to the NHL. Still, IMHO, file this under... I'll believe it when I see it.

Brian in Boston

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Here's what I think Baldwin et. al. should do:

1. If this sale goes through and the move happens, first order of business is a new arena. The HCC is, in NHL terms, an antique. Not as old as the Igloo (almost a good 10 years difference), but old nonetheless. There are skyboxes (about 40), but that isn't nearly enough in today's NHL. Plus there is no other luxury seating (read: club seats). The HCC would be a *temporary arena* until the new one is built.

2. Once that's accomplished, marketing the team is essential. The reason the Whalers failed the first time around is that outside the Greater Hartford area, nobody cared. Marketing the team to the entire state, including the lucrative Fairfield County area, should be the primary objective of ownership.

3. Ticket prices should be affordable. Hartford's a small market. Price the tickets accordingly. Do not price the tickets on par with New York and Boston. That is financial suicide.

4. Secure the rights and logos to the Whalers name. No goofy name-the-team contests, no off-the-wall logos. Connecticut hockey fans (myself included) still pine for Pucky and "Brass Bonanza". Make it so.

To Brian in Boston:

Baldwin may or may not be responsible for driving the Pens to their initial bankruptcy, but quality of play on the ice probably had as much to do with it as ownership. Don't forget, the Pens were lousy for most of the mid-1990s. Attendance drives revenue, and without attendance, you don't have revenue. The Whalers didn't exactly break attendance records during their tenure in Hartford, but they never dipped below an average of 10,000.

And stop reading Dan Shaughnessy. Hartford is not just "America's Filing Cabinet".

I'm heading out for a few; I need a little time to calm down.

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Alright, let the Whaleman really tell you how it is:

1) HCC. The Civic Center is small, but for an AHL team it's too big, so it's right in the middle of too small for NHL, but too big for AHL. That is the first thing that makes you build a new arena. The second thing is Madison Square Garden, which owns the New York Rangers, owns and operated the HCC. Do you really think the Rangers would let the Whalers play in an arena that they own. Unless their idiots, which most Rangers fans are, then no they won't.

2) People, have you ever noticed that Hartford is in between too HUGE markets in Boston and New York? Hartford through the 80's and 90's, was just a side note in both of New York and Boston asses. Rangers fans hated them, as did Bruins fans. And yes, we hated you 2 as well. So here's a reason they won't come back.

3) Marketing. My friend used to hate to live in Danbury, CT. He was about 60 miles south of Hartford, and about 60 miles north of NYC. He got Bruins games and Rangers games fine, but did he ever get to see a Whalers game on TV? Nope. The hometown team wasn't even on TV. What's up with that? What's up is marketing. Their is a great fan-base in CT for the Whalers, and the support to keep them at the final game was tremendous (yes I was there, donning Green and Blue and all :cry: ), but some companies probably won't invest in this "project" of the Whalers.

Well their you have it. My verdict: No, the Whalers won't come back. Yes, I still watch the final Whalers game on video from time to time, following with the news coverage my mom tapped afterward. I still get a tear, but can you blame me? These guys were my heros when I was a kid. I've seen most of it from Francis to Featherstone, Liut to Muzzatti, and yes, as I was celebrating my 1st birthday, Claude Lemieux screwed it over, with his OT game winner in game 7. A series that was supposed to be set, with a sweap of Hartford by Montreal.

So in the words on me, "Hartford is the insurance capital of the world, but they can't insure ANY PRO SPORTS team in Hartford."

I am facing the facts of my team never coming back. It took me long, but yes, I don't believe their coming back.

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There are 3 teams in the New York Area one in Boston, tahts a very crowded market, and ultimtly what led to the Whalers demise. I doubt another team will be coming to Hartford, lets hope they can fix teh situation in Pittsburgh the Penguins are too good of nickname with a good history to go by the wayside.

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Baldwin may or may not be responsible for driving the Pens to their initial bankruptcy, but quality of play on the ice probably had as much to do with it as ownership. Don't forget, the Pens were lousy for most of the mid-1990s. Attendance drives revenue, and without attendance, you don't have revenue. The Whalers didn't exactly break attendance records during their tenure in Hartford, but they never dipped below an average of 10,000.

ummm, the Penguins made the playofs every year in the 90's and were near the top of the league standings in most years. Also, the Penguins were in the cenference finals as recent as 2001.

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