Sometimes the leash is to short to run with Pack. The Hartford Wolf Pack season is not over but it will end tonight. The final game of the regular season doesn’t affect the post season whether the Pack win or lose tonight in St. John’s. The Wolf Pack were officially eliminated last night when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers defeated the Portland Pirates 3-2. Bridgeport clinched the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with the win.
Hartford was doing their part to make the post season. They played well enough to grab points in 13 of their last 17 games and they are 12-4-1-0 in that span. The additions of Nicklas Jensen and Chris Brown gave the Wolf Pack some much needed size at forward and also some offensive punch. The team is currently 10 games over .500 and they accomplished that with call ups that took their top goaltender and one of their top defenseman.
The improved play turned out to be not enough. Last Sunday the Wolf Pack lost to Portland and from there they needed to win all their remaining games and they also needed Bridgeport to lose all of theirs. This season will go by like other seasons where you can point to one or two games where you can bet the Wolf Pack would wish they could do-over.
The crowds for AHL hockey in Hartford will have to wait for next year as the Wolf Pack will not play in the XL Center until October. Their will be a group of new faces but If the core of this team is intact the prospects for a better season can almost be counted on. Certainly the team will focus on making sure next season that it has an effective power play, and to do that they will need a player who can end up in the AHL’s top 40 in points. The Wolf Pack have time to figure that all out over the next four months.
You can listen to the Pack wrap up the season tonight at 7pm on WPOP 1410AM Fox Sports radio. Or you pay to watch the game by going to AHL.Com.
Anderson Analytics LLC came out with a comparison report of the last two brands for the AHL in Hartford. The Connecticut Whale and the Hartford Wolf Pack were compared over their last three seasons. The official AHL attendance numbers show almost a 650 person difference per game when comparing all three seasons against each other.
Last Three Wolf Pack Seasons
2013/14 — 38 home games, 154,680 attended averaging 4,071/game
2014/15 — 38 home games, 169,766 attended averaging 4,468/game
2015/16 — 38 home games, 168,726 attended averaging 4,440/game
114 home games, 493,174 total attended averaging 4,326/game
Last Three Connecticut Whale seasons
2010/11 — 40 home games, 227,792 attended averaging 5,695/game
2011/12 — 38 home games, 173,788 attended averaging 4,573/game
2012/13 — 38 home games, 172,506 attended averaging 4,540/game
116 home games, 574,086 total attended 4,949/game
Josh Solomon owner of the Yard Goats was at a panel discussion regarding public investment in sports last week in Hartford. I asked him about any offseason plans for the stadium and he said that they are looking into using the playing field as a hockey rink maybe sometime this coming winter. An outdoor Whaler vs Bruin Alumni game and or a Wolf Pack vs Providence game sure would be nice. It was a big draw in 2011 for the Whale Bowl at Rentschler Field.
The Springfield Falcons relocation rumors to Tucson appear to be gaining speed. The only way it can happen is if the Coyotes purchase the franchise, currently they are the parent club but not the owners of the team. The Flacons are in the middle of a three year lease with the team but as we all know leases get broken as often as dishes in a restaurant.