May 27, 2024

The Carolina Hurricanes will wear a classic Hartford Whalers jersey for the first time in February.

The team’s annual Whalers Night is scheduled for Feb. 10, 2024, against the New Jersey Devils, as the Canes shout out their franchise roots in Hartford, Connecticut, where they played from 1979 to 1997. While the Hurricanes have worn other Hartford jerseys in the past, this game will mark the first time they’ll wear the Whalers’ classic white home sweaters.

“We’ve utilized the green jerseys pretty extensively over the years and sprinkled in the light gray jersey a few years back as part of the Reverse Retro leaguewide campaign, but the white sweaters have always been on our radar,” Hurricanes chief marketing officer Mike Forman said.

According to Whalers historian Pat Pickens, this marks the first time these uniforms will be worn in an NHL game since April 29, 1992, which was Game 6 of their playoff series loss against the Montreal Canadiens.

There’s another addition for this season’s Whalers uniform kit that’s causing a buzz: The Canes will be wearing Cooperall pants for warmups that night.

Worn by some Whalers players for the 1982-83 season, Cooperalls were an alternative form of hockey pants that featured a waist-to-ankle design. They quickly fell out of favor after players complained about a lack of mobility, and that the pants caused them to overheat during games. The NHL passed a rule that mandated players wear short pants on the ice beginning in the 1983-84 season.

In 2022, the Philadelphia Flyers busted out the Cooperalls in warmups with their Reverse Retro jerseys. Now it’s the Hurricanes’ turn to go long (pants).

“We’ve worked with the same manufacturer as the Flyers did last season to make these come to life,” Forman said. “They will be worn over the top of the normal green pants that will be worn for the game itself.”

The Hurricanes relocated from Hartford to North Carolina, beginning play there in the 1997-98 season. Current owner Tom Dundon had vowed to strengthen the connection between Carolina and its Whalers past when he took over the team around six years ago.

The Hurricanes first wore Hartford’s classic green sweaters in December 2018 and have Whalers merchandise available for sale at home games.


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