Crank up the Brass Bonanza, Whalers fans -- Hartford is exploring the possibility of bringing back a team to the city, says the Hartford Courant.
City officials, including Mayor Eddie Perez , met with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman this week to inform him of Hartford's plans to build a new arena and express interest in a relocated or expansion franchise.
"The meeting was to make sure we put Hartford on his radar screen as a city that is bullish about bringing hockey back to Hartford," Perez told the Toronto Star. "We have a great fan base left over from the Hartford Whaler days, and I have a challenge as a mayor to figure out to do with an aging civic center, which has outlived its purpose."
Perez told the paper Bettman did not commit to anything, but felt the city had a shot at getting a team if the NHL moved a team or expanded within the next five years.
Hartford has been researching the feasibility of building a new downtown arena to replace the XL Center by 2013. The arena, formerly known as the Hartford Civic Center, hosted the Whalers for 20 years before the franchise moved to North Carolina.