HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – It has been more than twenty years since the Hartford Whalers hockey team left the capital city for Raleigh, North Carolina.
But that hasn’t stopped fans from trying to bring the team back, and their beloved apparel is still worn by many people.
Two Saturdays ago, a vintage Zamboni with a Whalers logo on the side was sold to a scrap metal yard in the north end of Hartford.
“It’s definitely strange. It would be nice if it was real,” said Jeff Angell, manager of City Auto Parts.
Channel 3 learned from the XL Center that the Zamboni was not used during the Whalers era at the Civic Center, but Zamboni was able to confirm the ice resurface machine was originally shipped to Bellmore, Long Island, New York.
“It is difficult for us to follow a machine after it leaves our manufacturing facility,” said Paula Coony, Brand Manager of Zamboni.
Coony went on to say, “our Hartford files show a different HD model machine and serial number, and eventually the purchase of a Model 500 Zamboni machine, so what we have on file does not indicate that [Serial Number] HAD844 was one of the Whaler’s machines.”
Although the whale tale logo on the side is fading and the blue paint is rusting, some think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to restore it.
“They should try to refurbish it, polish it up, get it shined up, and it shows Hartford what it once was,” said Bob Colangelo, managing partner at Max Bibo’s Deli.
Brian Ruben was rummaging through City Auto Parts and he became incredulous when he learned it might be turned into scrap.
“I couldn’t believe someone got rid of it and scrapped it,” Ruben said. “Hey, I’d restore the thing. If somebody would be willing to buy the parts, I’d be willing to do all the labor. Ya know, for the city. It’s really the only thing we have.”
A spokesperson from the Carolina Hurricanes said, “Unfortunately, we don’t really have a way to verify this. Could have been from a practice rink, too…”