Skip to content

J.S. Giguere, the last remaining Whaler, says Hartford will “always be special to me”

Jan 29, 2013, 3:16 PM EDT

JS Giguere Whalers

Though he’s not the NHL’s oldest goalie (that goes to Martin Brodeur) or even the oldest guy on his team (that goes to Milan Hejduk), Colorado’s Jean-Sebastian Giguere does have one historic mark nobody can claim to:

He’s the only active NHLer to have played for the Hartford Whalers.

“My first team,” Giguere told Adrian Dater of the Denver Post. “I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but it’ll always be special to me, the team and the organization.”

Hartford took Giguere 13th overall at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He was the first goaltender off the board — Martin Biron went at No. 16 to Buffalo — and has become the one of the most successful guys in a netminding class filled with great depth: Brian Boucher, Marc Denis, Jean-Sebastian Aubin, Vesa Toskala, Chris Mason, Brent Johnson and, of course, Miikka Kiprusoff.

Giguere returned to QMHJL Halifax following his draft year, but debuted for the Whalers as a 19-year-old in 1996-97, playing in eight games.

That ’96-97 team featured a number of talented players, several of whom have moved onto the next chapter of their hockey careers. Kevin Dineen is the head coach in Florida, Sean Burke is the Assistant to the General Manger in Phoenix, Nelson Emerson works in LA’s player development department and Brendan Shanahan is the NHL’s discipline czar.

(Andrew Cassels is an assistant coach with ECHL Cincinnati, in case you were curious.)

Yet of all these players, only one — Giguere — continues to play at the NHL level.

And while there have been rumblings about Connecticut wanting the Whalers back, it doesn’t seem as though he’ll get a chance to close out his career with a final appearance in Hartford.

“It was too bad the team had to move, because they had a lot of great fans,” Giguere said. “But those things happen sometimes.”

Update: As pointed out in the comments section, Chris Pronger — who played two seasons in Hartford — is still technically an active NHLer, because he’s on LTIR and therefore on Philly’s roster.

Of course, Pronger hasn’t played an NHL game in 14 months.

Latest Posts
  1. Fanspeak: Bossy voted greatest Islander in franchise history

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v New York Islanders Getty Images

    The dynasty-era is well-represented in voting, as expected.

  2. Video: Luongo’s amusing Ice Bucket Challenge

    Aug 22, 2014, 7:14 PM EDT

    tryagain

    The TMNT pajamas really put it over the top.

  3. Larry Robinson has an … interesting take on Sharks captaincy

    Aug 22, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    “We’re waiting for somebody now to step forward and take charge of this team.”

  4. Can Kyle Okposo maintain momentum from his breakout year?

    Aug 22, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    Despite missing 11 games, he set many career-high numbers.

  5. Jets’ Maurice adjusting to life in Winnipeg

    Aug 22, 2014, 3:01 PM EDT

    Paul Maurice AP

    Spent the summer relocating his family to the Manitoba capital.

  6. Report: Leiweke to head up Olympic bid in Los Angeles

    Aug 22, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

    Tim Leiweke Getty Images

    Speculation on MLSE President & CEO’s next move.

  7. Looking to make the leap: Griffin Reinhart

    Aug 22, 2014, 1:32 PM EDT

    GriffinReinhart Getty Images

    Disappointed with demotion last season, 20-year-old will get another shot in September.

  8. Under Pressure: Garth Snow

    Aug 22, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT

    Garth Snow Getty Images

    Has to get his team on the winning track.

  9. Video: Rangers’ Lundqvist shows off tennis skills

    Aug 22, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Henrik Lundqvist Getty Images

    Helps friend raise awareness at charity event.

  10. Report: Bruins need to make a trade

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    toreykruggetty Getty Images

    Excess of defensemen has GM Peter Chiarelli in a bind.

  11. In praise of John Tavares

    Aug 22, 2014, 10:05 AM EDT

    John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Chad Johnson AP

    At 23 years old, he’s one of the best players in the NHL.

  12. Sakic on RFA Barrie: ‘I’m confident he’ll be here’

    Aug 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Tyson Barrie Getty Images

    He’s the last free agent for the Avs to re-sign.

  13. It’s New York Islanders Day at PHT

    Aug 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Travis Hamonic, Kyle Okposo, John Tavares Getty Images

    They came back to the pack hard last season.

  14. Sabres’ Larsson says he’s proven what he can in AHL

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Johan Larsson Getty Images

    He’ll have a battle to make the NHL next season.

  15. NHLers hold charity games in Slovakia honoring Pavol Demitra

    Aug 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Pavol Demitra Getty Images

    He died in the plane crash that killed the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in 2011.

  16. McDavid on teams possibly tanking for him: ‘It’s pretty crazy’

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Connor McDavid Getty Images

    The NHL changed the process for the Draft Lottery on Wednesday.

  17. It’s all on Crosby, Malkin to make it work in Pittsburgh

    Aug 21, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT

    Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Niskanen AP

    We know it’s not surprising, but just go along with it.

  18. Sakic on Giguere: ‘His achievements speak for themselves’

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

    Jean-Sebastien Giguere AP

    A Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe in separate years is a nice legacy.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Hayes (1805)
  2. R. Johansen (1669)
  3. S. Crosby (1625)
  4. J. Spezza (1376)
  5. A. Ovechkin (1304)
  1. S. Mason (1197)
  2. D. Alfredsson (1196)
  3. C. MacArthur (1160)
  4. J. Giguere (1152)
  5. R. Malone (1103)