New Hurricanes owner says team might use Hartford Whalers logo

Despite 21-years of absence, the Whalers remains one of the most popular merchandise sellers in the NHL

Hartford Whalers captain Kevin Dineen waves to the fans Sunday, April 13, 1997, after he briefly addressed them at the end of the Whalers final game in Hartford, Conn. The Whalers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 to end their season and their stay in Hartford. (AP Photo/Richard Mei)

(WTNH) – The Hartford Whalers are coming back! Well, kind of.

New Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon told ESPN Radio in Raleigh, North Carolina, that he plans on using the old Hartford Whalers logo, which despite the 21-year absence of the Whale, remains one of the most popular merchandise sellers in the NHL.

“I think we should have a store that sells that Whalers merchandise online and we should explore playing games in that jersey and selling that gear. It’s part of the legacy,” Dundon told ESPN Radio. “I just like cool stuff. If we don’t, it will mean something went wrong.”

The Hurricanes jointly own the logo with the NHL.

The Hartford Whalers left for Carolina in 1997. Since then, the logo has gained popular culture status, and hats, jerseys and t-shirts have become fashionable with celebrities and athletes, even those with no Connecticut connection.

The Whalers uniform has been a jersey option for the Hurricanes in some NHL video games as well, though it hasn’t seen on-ice time since the team left Hartford.