In a recently concluded Divisional Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, two of the most dreaded former opponents of the Hartford Whalers matched up.  It was the Montreal Canadiens, who had a habit of breaking Whalers fans hearts in the playoffs and the Boston Bruins, the team that never respected the Whalers and always seemed to have their number.

PuckyIn this recent series The Canadiens defeated the Bruins in seven games winning the final 3-1 at TD Garden in Boston.  Granted, the new Garden and the Bell Centre are beautiful buildings but neither are the true houses of horror that Hartford experienced during its NHL years at the Boston Garden and the Montreal Forum.

But something stood out to me. The series winning goal was scored by a Canadiens player who was born in, gasp, Connecticut.  That’s right, Max Pacioretty is a native of New Canaan CT.  He most likely grew up a Rangers fan but because of all the great work the New England/Hartford Whalers did over the years with growing youth hockey in Connecticut, Pacioretty is one of ten current NHL players who can call Connecticut home.  Included among them are Stanley Cup champions, Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles) and Ben Smith (Chicago).

As a former Whalers fan it was great to see a Connecticut kid put the dagger in the Bruins, even if he was wearing a Canadiens sweater.  I like to think of it as Pucky’s Revenge.

Below is a list of the ten current NHL players from Connecticut it comes courtesy of Hockey Reference.

Along with those players, it made me wonder how many former Whalers are actually working in the NHL.  With help from Whalers Hockey I was able to compile this list.  There are 46 former Whalers Alumni working in the NHL and many more in hockey in the Olympics, college, juniors, high school, youth ranks and overseas.

Executives (13)

  • Brendan Shanahan President Toronto
  • Ron Francis GM Carolina
  • Ken Holland GM Detroit
  • Don Maloney GM Arizona
  • Marc Bergevin GM Montreal
  • Mike Vellucci Asst GM Carolina
  • Pat Verbeek Asst GM Tampa Bay
  • Paul Fenton Asst GM Nashville
  • Norm Maciver Asst GM Chicago
  • Sean Burke Asst GM/Goalie Coach Arizona
  • Dave Babych Vancouver Director Player Personnel
  • Larry Pleau Senior Advisor St Louis
  • Brent Peterson Advisor Nashville

Scouting/Player Development (19)

  • Mark Howe Director Pro Scouting Detroit
  • Nelson Emerson Director Player Development/Asst Coach LA Kings
  • Glen Wesley Player Development Carolina
  • Randy Cunneyworth Player Development Buffalo
  • Mike Antonovich Scout St. Louis
  • Rick Meagher Scout St. Louis
  • Michel Picard Scout St. Louis
  • Shane Churla Scout Montreal
  • Mark Grieg Scout Philadelphia
  • Chris Pronger Scout Philadelphia
  • Robert Kron Scout Carolina
  • Greg Malone Scout Tampa Bay
  • Glen Merkosky Scout Detroit
  • Bryan Marchment Scout San Jose
  • Geoff Sanderson Scout NY Islanders
  • Jim Sandlak Scout Anaheim
  • Al Tuer Scout Florida
  • Tom Webster Scout Calgary
  • Eric Weinrich Scout Buffalo

Coaching (13)

  • Joel Quenneville Head Coach Chicago
  • Dave Tippett Head Coach Arizona
  • Todd Richards Head Coach Columbus
  • Ulf Samuelsson Asst Coach NY Rangers
  • Doug Houda Asst Coach Boston
  • Doug Jarvis Asst Coach Boston
  • Jack McIlhargehy Asst Coach Philadelphia
  • James Patrick Asst Coach Dallas
  • Mark Reeds Asst Coach Ottawa
  • Brad Shaw Asst Coach St Louis
  • John Stevens Asst Coach LA Kings
  • Steve Weeks Goalie Coach Chicago
  • Jeff Reese Goalie Coach Philadelphia

Other (1)

  • Nick Fotiu Public Relations NY Rangers