Tuesday, July 27, 2010
July by the Numbers stays in New York State and AHL, only traveling back in time for jersey #27.
The origins of the Binghamton Whalers can be traced back to 1926 when the franchise was founded as the Providence Reds, later renamed the Rhode Island Reds. They remained in Providence for 51 years until being relocated to Binghamton, New York in 1977.
They were renamed the Binghamton Dusters for three seasons until another name change, this time to the Binghamton Whalers in recognition of their parent club, the Hartford Whalers of the NHL, and even used the Hartford club's Brass Bonanza as their goal celebration song.
During their second season as the Whalers, the club won the South Division and made a successful playoff run, defeating Hersey 3-2 in five games and Rochester 4-1 to reach the Calder Cup Finals, the first for the franchise since 1974 while still in Providence.
Another division title followed in 1984-85, when the team put together a stellar 52-20-8 record for a Whalers best 112 points, led by Paul Gardner's 51 goals and 79 assists for a whopping 130 points in 64 games to lead the AHL in all three categories. His 130 points were 37 more than the next closest challenger, who played 12 more games than Gardner, and proved to be the all-time Whalers record.
The Hartford Whalers were never one of the better teams in the NHL, and as a result did not supply Binghamton with the greatest talent, and often called up their better players in an effort to improve their dismal placings in the NHL. As a result, the Binghamton Whalers fortunes began to sink, dropping in wins from 47 to 38, then 28 to miss the playoffs and finally the worst record in the history of the AHL when they went 11-60-9 in their final season as the Whalers in 1989-90.
The following season their affiliation changed from Hartford to the New York Rangers which resulted in yet another name change for the franchise to the Binghamton Rangers, ending their 10 seasons as the Whalers. After seven seasons as the Rangers, the club was relocated yet again to Hartford, Connecticut to fill the void left by the departure of the Hartford Whalers to North Carolina, where they would become the Hurricanes. Now in Hartford, taking the place of their once parent club, they became yesterday's featured club and jersey #26 in our July by the Numbers travels, the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Better known Binghamton Whalers players include goaltender Richard Brodeur, Sylvain Cote, Ray Ferraro, Lou Franceschetti, Marty Howe, Doug Jarvis, Pete Peeters, Ulf Samuelsson, Peter Sidorkiewicz and Steve Weeks.
Today's featured jersey is a 1982-83 Binghamton Whalers Dave McDonald jersey. Another example of a minor league club which adopted the basic jersey of their parent club, the Whalers pulled of one of the most simple, effective and clever tricks when they simply rotated the Whalers "whale tail" logo, which formed the letters "H" and "W", ninety degrees counterclockwise to create a "B" logo for Binghamton. They did modify the inside negative space that originally formed the bottom of the "H" to a rounded shape to enhance the "B" shape but otherwise left the Whalers clever logo intact.
They were also clever enough to maintain the use of the classic Pucky the Whale shouder patches.
Today's video is a little minor league mayhem, as Dale Kushner of the Springfield Indians leaves his penalty box early to fight with Al Teur, who still resides in the penalty box! Notice the Whalers "B" logo jerseys in the clip.