The St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hartford has always been extremely Whaler friendly. The Hartford Whalers Booster Club made another appearance in the parade. Often many spectators spontaneously join the Hartford Whalers Booster Club as they march by, it happens every year.
This year we all noticed that the politicians were much more Whaler friendly too. Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, and of course Governor Malloy all stopped by to take pictures with members of the club and Pucky, the Hartford Whalers mascot. Fox Sports Anchor Rich Coppola was wearing his Whaler gear and he also took a photo with the group.
The HWBC brought a few dozen marchers to the parade this year. They carried Whaler flags, a sign that read, "If you build it, they will come", and they handed out tons of multicolored tootsie rolls to thousands of kids along the parade route. Brass Bonanza was not to be left out in the group's walk. It came out loud and clear from the Whaler decorated vehicle that followed the group in the parade.
Pucky was extremely busy during the parade sometimes falling behind as people rushed across the street to get in line to take a picture with Connecticut's favorite whale. Before the parade began Pucky had an impromptu run in with Sonar the Hartford Wolf Pack's mascot. Sonar was on his float waiting for the parade to start, and he happened to notice Pucky walking below him. You can watch the video of the two hockey Mascots here. Pucky decided to walk around the back of the Wolf Pack trailer and one of the float's participants held up a big Whaler Logo. He said that he didn't want Pucky to feel he wasn't represented.
As the Whaler Brigade came to Ford Street they passed the grand stand which is where the Governor and Mayor usually sit. Over a loud speaker the participants in the parade are called out and acknowledged by the crowd. The HWBC was introduced and the crowd was asked the if they wanted to get the NHL back.
Every year the HWBC has been in the parade the response has been great. Whalers fans really enjoy being in the parade and the Whaler fans who watch the parade really enjoy seeing the support for the Whalers return. The recent talk of three groups that have interest in bringing an NHL team back to Hartford has definitely had an impact on peoples feelings about the Whalers.
At this point the NHL returning is still just a dream but if this were a new chapter most likely it would be called 'A New Hope'.