Skip to content

Hottest selling merchandise in the NHL? How about the Hartford Whalers

Aug 18, 2010, 9:02 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for ronfrancishfd-getty-bennett.jpg“Hartford Whalers merchandise is the hottest selling merchandise in the NHL.”

If I asked you about what year that headline came from, you’d probably guess sometime in the early 1990s and feel pretty confident about it. How about if I told you it came from 2010? Turns out, the team with the most stuff flying off the shelves at sports merchandise retailer Mitchell & Ness is a team that hasn’t been around since 1997.

And yet, all these years later, newly made Whalers jerseys, T-shirts and caps are among the hottest sellers of all NHL teams.

“It’s been one of the top lines, and it’s not just Connecticut,” said Marc D’Amelio, an East Coast sales representative for Mitchell & Ness, a major vendor of Whalers T-shirts, jackets and caps. “Nationally, it’s in the top five, no problem.”

The Whalers can’t touch the champion Chicago Black Hawks this year, but the distinctive blue, green and white merchandise could easily tie with the Detroit Redwings, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, D’Amelio said.

Last weekend saw the Whalers Fan Fest in Connecticut bring to light the still raging popularity of the defunct franchise now calling Raleigh, North Carolina home as the Hurricanes. The Fan Fest brought 4,500 fans out to meet up with Whalers greats from the past and collect autographs from the likes of Kevin Dineen and Ron Francis. If you think that this is just a phase where the resurgence of the Whalers logo will come and go, you might want to think again.

Recently, the Whaler logo has gotten some high profile exposure, too. Adam Sandler wore a Whalers T-shirt in the film “Grown Ups.” The NHL also approved the use of the logo in a video game, and, according to Ihor Stelmach, the Westfarms store’s general manager, the rapper 50 Cent wore a Whalers shirt at a concert last year and threw some team shirts into the crowd.

If we can’t get the Whale back on the ice, then getting them back on our backs, fronts, heads and video games is a pretty sweet and stylish back-up plan. Now if we could just get Lady Gaga to release the Whalers goal song “Brass Bonanza” mash-up to the world, the Whalers hostile takeover of the world will be in full effect.

  1. Bring 'em back - Aug 19, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    BRING BACK THE WHALE!

  2. JCHFlyers - Aug 19, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    I respect the hell out of this article.

  3. Fecteau - Aug 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Go Whalers! I also saw a photo of Megan Fox wearing a Property of Harftord Whalers T Shirt a few months back so I’ll bet that doesn’t hurt it either…

  4. diggerjohn111 - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    See Bettman? It’s a message; STOP with the Palm Tree hockey nonsense! Put the teams back where they belong; Hartford, Winnipeg, Quebec City. Pucks don’t go far on sand.

  5. acidqueen - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Since there aren’t any palm trees in North Carolina digger, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.
    Hail the Whalers! Hail the Hurricanes!

  6. WickDisc - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    Definitely the best and most clever logo in sports and even before Adam Sandler the team has had a cult following in Kevin Smith films not to mention the lore of Brass Bonanza. The Fabulous Sports always referred to them as “America’s Team” and maybe that’s proving out some 13 years later. I also really loved the colour combinations – and apparently I’m not the only one because immediately after the Whalers left the Vancouver Canucks adopted them.
    Regarding the Whalers and the Fan Fest, Baldwin’s statement is so right on. “Spiritually the team never left.” That’s a powerful statement, but now the tasks ahead are physical.

  7. WickDisc - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    Definitely the best and most clever logo in sports and even before Adam Sandler the team has had a cult following in Kevin Smith films not to mention the lore of Brass Bonanza. The Fabulous Sports always referred to them as “America’s Team” and maybe that’s proving out some 13 years later. I also really loved the colour combinations – and apparently I’m not the only one because immediately after the Whalers left the Vancouver Canucks adopted them.
    Regarding the Whalers and the Fan Fest, Baldwin’s statement is so right on. “Spiritually the team never left.” That’s a powerful statement, but now the tasks regarding the return of the Whalers are physical.

  8. Whale in 2015 - Aug 19, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    “Whalermania is runnin’ wild brother! Listen to all those millions of Whalermaniacs out there. Whatch’a gonna do Gary Bettman, when Whalermania runs wild on you?!”
    Still Bleeding Green

  9. jack - Aug 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    i want to slap you in the teeth. shut your stupid philadelphian mouth

  10. Robert - Aug 20, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    For years, I painted the Whalers logo on my face before I went to work everyday. Maybe I can get a tie and stop that.

  11. Fecteau - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Wearing my old Whale hat today that I bought at the Civic center in 1994.. Go WHALE!!

  12. Lee - Aug 21, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Vancouver has palm trees. Is that a bad thing?

  13. TheMightyBrassBonanza - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    YOU GOT THAT RIGHT, BROTHER! 43” pythons COMIN’ DOWN ON YOU, BETTMAN! You had your little sunbelt pretend motion picture – but I got a full length movie for you – THE HARTFORD WHALERS kicking your ass, from beginning to end!!! HAIL WHALE!!!!

  14. Suigi - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:06 AM

    A little bit of research would have shown that Vancouver was wearing blue and green when the franchise started skating in 1970…two years before the WHA New England Whalers (in green and gold) started skating, and nine years before the renamed Hartford Whalers joined the NHL. It’s only recently that the Canucks went back to the blue and green, and likely coincidental.
    Not knocking the Whalers in any sense, just providing some historical correction.

  15. Whicked Pissahs - Aug 30, 2010 at 6:10 AM

    Go Whale!

  16. QuizGuy66 - Sep 17, 2010 at 5:41 PM

    Still miss the Whale :( Always a classic look. They should bring ‘em back.
    Of all of Bettman’s f-up’s this one might be the worst one.
    They should still be there and be the NHL’s answer to the Green Bay Packers as a small market that can make it.
    Devils are always #1 with me, but like probably most fans, the Whalers will always be my 2nd team.
    -QG

  17. Sara - Sep 24, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Long live the mighty Whale!! Bring them back to the NHL, Howie.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2541)
  2. E. Malkin (2367)
  3. R. Johansen (2295)
  4. J. Drouin (2018)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1991)
  1. C. Giroux (1955)
  2. F. Forsberg (1949)
  3. G. Nyquist (1931)
  4. J. Harding (1829)
  5. D. Stepan (1785)