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NHL hockey in Hartford (sort of), Whalers alumni weekend returns

It's a chance for players and fans to pay tribute to the NHL team that left Hartford 25 years ago.

HARTFORD, Conn. — The pitch at Dunkin' Donuts Park is about the pucks, at least this weekend. For the fifth time, Hartford Whalers Alumni Weekend has returned to the capital city – a chance for players and fans to pay tribute to the NHL team that left Hartford 25 years ago.

“It’s terrific to be back,” said Chuck Kaiton, the Hall of Fame Whalers Broadcaster for nearly two decades. “The weekend for me is basically about the fans and a second generation of fans who don’t even know any one of us. They’re coming out with their moms and dads who were teenagers when the team left.”

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Andre Lacroix, a former Whalers center, now 77 years old, said he loves to visit Hartford and is grateful to the Yard Goats for welcoming him back.

“All the players that played for the Whalers, they look forward to this every year,” Lacroix remarked, as he walked along the outfield dirt of Dunkin' Donuts Park.

RELATED: Students from all over the state fill Dunkin Donuts Park on Baseball in Education Day

Friend and fellow Whaler Jordy Douglas played left wing from 1978 to 1982.

“It’s almost like reliving our childhood. Here, (in Hartford) it was a community friendship, it was a community relationship and we come back to see our friends which are like our family here,” Douglas said.

RELATED: Remembering the Hartford Whalers 25 years after their final game

Jeff Dooley, the radio broadcaster for the Yard Goats, said, “We think it’s really important to honor (The Whalers) and we’re honored that they love to come back and meet the Yard Goat players and fans every year.” 

“It’s almost like we are still playing together, we are all a big family and I think the fans in Hartford made us that way,” Lacroix added. 

To find out more about Whalers Alumni Weekend, click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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