The World Hockey Association awards franchise to sports enthusiasts and businessmen Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, Godfrey Wood, and William Barnes.
Jack Kelley, highly successful coach at Boston University, joins the New England franchise as coach and general manager. Newly formed team is named "WHALERS" becasue it contains the letters of the new league, and it carries with it a part of the New England heritage.
April 19, 1972
Larry Pleau becomes the first player to sign a Whalers contract. Later in the month Brad Selwood, Rick Ley, and Jim Dorey from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tim Sheehy from the US Olympic Team also join the club.
October 12, 1972
The Whalers play their first WHA game. Reebounding from a 2-0 deficit, the Whalers defeat the visiting Philadelphia Blazers, 4-3, before 14,332 spectators at the Boston Garden. Tommy Williams scores the very first Whalers goal.
January 11, 1975
Whalers play their first hockey game at the new Hartford Civic Center before a sellout crowd of 10,507.
May 23, 1977
The Whalers out duel the NHL to sign the entire Howe family, Gordie, Mark, and Marty, to long term contracts.
January 18, 1978
At 4:30 am, under the weight of snow and ice, the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum roof collapses. The Whalers are forced to relocate to Spingfield while the Civic Center is repaired and enlarged.
June 22, 1979
Along with Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Quebec, the Whalers join the National Hockey League as they expand to 21 teams for the 1979-1980 season. The WHA officially ceases all operations.
February 6, 1980
After a two year absence, the Whalers return to the new Hartford Civic Center to defeat the Los Angeles Kings before a capacity crowd of 14,000.
February 27, 1980
The Whalers aquire hockey great Bobby Hull from the Winnipeg Jets for future considerations.
January 29, 1981
Mike Rogers and Mark Howe become the first Whalers voted to play in the NHL All-Star Game.
February 4, 1986
Hartford hosts the 38th NHL All-Star Game before a sellout crowd of 15,126. Whaler rep Sylvain Turgeon collects an assist in the game.
April 29, 1986
Montreal's Claude Lemieux scores at 5:55 of overtime to give the Canadiens a 2-1 overtime victory over the Whalers in the seventh and deciding game of the Adams Division Championship series.
December 26, 1986
Doug Jarvis supplants Garry Unger as the NHL's Ironman by playing in his 915th consecutive NHL game.
April 4, 1987
The Whalers score three goals in less than four minutes to defeat the New York Rangers and clinch first place in the Adams Division.
February 9, 1988
Kevin Dineen becomes the first Whaler ever to start in an NHL All-Star Game. He records two assists in the game including one to Mario Lemieux for the winner in overtime.
March 4, 1991
- Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson, and Grant Jennings are traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski, and Jeff Parker. The trade is forever regarded as the worst in Whaler history.
April 1, 1991
Pat Verbeek becomes the only NHL player to lead his team in both penalty minutes and goals for the seond straight season.
May 2, 1992
The Whalers extend the Montreal Canadiens to the second overtime in game seven of the Adams Division Semi-finals. Russ Courtnall's goal against Frank Pietrangelo at 2:02 am (25:26 of OT) ends the Whalers' first NHL season to extend into May.
June 2, 1992
The Whalers introduce new uniforms. The club changes to a predominant navy blue colour scheme after 20 seasons in green.
June 28, 1994
The Whalers are purchase by Peter Karmanos, Thomas Thewes, and Jim Rutherford for $47.5 million. Hartford also hosted the 1994 NHL Entry Draft at which they selected Jeff O'Neill in the first round.
July 27, 1995
The Whalers acquire Brendan Shanahan from St. Louis for defenseman Chris Pronger.
October 9, 1996
The Whalers acquire Paul Coffey and Keith Primeau from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Brian Glynn and disgruntled Brendan Shanahan.
December 15, 1996
After 20 lacklustre games and just 4 points for the Whalers, Paul Coffey is traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.
April 13, 1997
After ownership and the State fail to reach an agreement on a new arena, the Whalers play their final game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. After 25 years, hockey comes to an end in Hartford. Kevin Dineen scores the final Whaler goal in a 2-1 victory.