There's (light) talk of the NHL returning to Hartford. I don't know where these teams are coming from—KC seems to want one, and I don't think anybody wants to see the Islanders leave town...But it would be neat to have Hartford back in the NHL.
From a press release put out by the mayor's office in Hartford:
(Jan. 14, 2009)--- Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez met this morning with National
Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman at NHL Headquarters in Manhattan to
update the Commissioner on the status of Hartford’s plans for a new arena in the city.
Mayor Perez along with Andy Bessette, Chief Administrative Officer of the Travelers
Insurance Company--- who is leading a task force on private sector support for a new
arena--- and Oz Griebel, CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance, discussed with
Commissioner Bettman the potential for including an NHL franchise in future plans for
the development of a new Hartford arena.
“Today’s meeting with Commissioner Bettman was an excellent opportunity to let him
know that Hartford remains interested in bringing the NHL back to Connecticut’s Capital
City. We had a very good discussion and the Commissioner was generous with his time
and thoughts about what was necessary for an NHL franchise to succeed. This was the
first discussion in what all parties agreed should be an ongoing dialogue about Hartford’s
interest in bringing back an NHL team,” Mayor Perez stated.
“With the state returning the XL Center, formerly the Hartford Civic Center, to the city
by 2013, there is clearly a day of reckoning about what we as a city and state want to do
with a facility that by all accounts is rapidly reaching the end of its useful life. To keep
the momentum going in Hartford’s renaissance, we must be prepared in the next three to
five years to implement a redevelopment plan for a new multi-use arena facility that
serves the entire state not only as a world class venue for concerts, family shows and
UCONN Basketball, but also as a potential home for a major league sports franchise. In
light of these difficult financial times, this effort will take a considerable amount of work
and partnership between the city, state and corporate community to bring the plans for the
development of a new facility to reality, but the benefits have the potential to be
exponential,” Perez stated.
The city retained HOK Sport to develop a feasibility plan for the development of a new
arena facility. The preliminary report identified the present site of the XL Center
(Hartford Civic Center) as the most viable location for a new facility.