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Hurricanes to Wear White Whalers Throwbacks, Cooperalls in Warmups

Phil here, pinch hitting for Paul while he’s at the Eastern Shore.

Great news for those of us who love throwbacks out of Raleigh today, as the Carolina Hurricanes have announced they’ll wear a white-jerseyed version of their Hartford Whalers throwback uniforms for “Whalers Night” on February 10, 2024.

“Whalers Night” is now an annual tradition, and the team takes great effort to celebrate the franchise’s history and honors some legends from the past.

Unlike previously, when the Hurricanes wore the green jerseyed throwbacks, this year the team is changing it up to wear the classic white uniform.

According to Hurricanes Chief Marketing Officer Mike Forman, “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.”

If you’re sensing their may be other reasons for the white jersey, “This is a great opportunity to introduce jerseys that are both new and exciting to the team, and also add a retail opportunity for our fans,” Forman added.

Still, marketing aside, this is fantastic news, as the white Hartford Whalers sweater is a classic, and I personally think the negative-space “H” in the logo is one of the greatest ever created.

Not only are the Hurricanes bringing back the home white uniform, the team will also wear “Cooperalls” during pre-game warmups.

If your not familiar with Cooperalls, during the 1982-83 season, the Whalers wore Cooperall pants, a controversial one-piece design which some players felt limited their mobility, and were thought to be less safe than traditional pants and socks. The NHL prohibited their use the following season. Here’s a look at the 1982-83 pants.

The Philadelphia Flyers were the only other team to wear Cooperalls, and they also wore them during the 1982-83 season. The Flyers broke out throwback Cooperalls in 2022, setting the stage for the Hurricanes to wear them this season.

Here’s what the team will wear next February.

“Credit to the Flyers on this one, as they re-introduced the Cooperalls last year in conjunction with their Reverse Retro uniform scheme. The Flyers and Whalers were exclusively the two NHL clubs who wore Cooperalls for a year or two in the 80s and it’s a way for us to have fun and feed into the retro vibes for warmups only that night,” Forman added. “We’ve worked with the same manufacturer as the Flyers did last season to make these come to life. They will be worn over the top of the normal green pants that will be worn for the game itself.”

The Hurricanes will play host to the New Jersey Devils when they celebrate Whaler Night next February.

Comments (37)

    The Whalers white and green sweaters with Pucky on the shoulders are all-time classics. The NHL is all the poorer for not having them in the league on a full time basis.

    I love the Cooperalls for warmups as a fun quirk but logistically it’s a nightmare of players. Taking off your skates after you’re situated especially after warmups is a huge pain. The players will effectively have to completely re-dress between warmups and the game. It’s a lot different addressing the lower half of a player than swapping out one jersey for the next between warmup and the game.

    Per the article: “They will be worn over the top of the normal green pants that will be worn for the game itself.”” so presumably the players will be able to take off the cooperalls without removing their skates and be dressed for the game

    Was just about to say… if you look at the Cooperalls they will be wearing (link), they look large enough to remove without taking skates off.

    Those NBA “breakaway” warmup pants are really cool when a player checks in..
    …the NHL could do this ?

    I’m sure they could, but other than a team wearing Cooperalls (Flyers, Whalers) for warmups, I can’t see the need for such.

    What a load of BS.

    ““Whalers Night” is now an annual tradition, and the team takes great effort to celebrate the franchise’s history and honors some legends from the past.”

    Yet the franchise does not recognize the Whalers Team or individual records or retired numbers. If you do not recognize the past then you should not wear the uniforms from the past.

    “If you do not recognize the past then you should not wear the uniforms from the past.”

    I’ll have to remember that line for when the “Houston Texans Should Be Able To Wear Oilers Throwbacks” comments are made ; )
    This is a pleasant surprise…more teams should wear white at home – and besides, most NHL sweaters look better in white anyway.
    Hope that the Devils will break out the Green and Red for this one.

    “Hope that the Devils will break out the Green and Red for this one.”

    Ooohhh. Good call — since that’s what the Devils wore for the 1982-83 season. (link)

    Aaaaaannnnndddddd…we know they have that look in their uni repertoire. (link)

    Would be fantastic, but I’m not getting my hopes up for the Devils to wear these on the road.

    They should not recognize the records that were set and the numbers that were retired in Hartford either. Just like the throwbacks, those do not belong in Carolina.

    Look at those beautiful blue, green, and white gloves. Really wish the Vancouver Canucks were paying attention to how good the tri-colour gloves look with that colour scheme and Vancouver went back to their own.


    Maybe if the governor of CT at the time had spent less time/resources on trying to take the Patriots from MA (I’m sure Nutmeggers would have felt just terrible for the fans left high-and-dry had that panned out!), then maybe the Whalers ownership and the state could have come to terms on a new arena on Hartford…maybe.

    Maybe the Whalers owner or the owners of the teams in the league they played in could’ve built an arena without mooching off of taxpayers? Lol – this is why these throwbacks are so gross, they’re monetizing an event that happened as a result of their own greed.

    Even with zero-public funded/subsidized construction and maintenance costs (rare, practically unheard of these days for grand-scale projects like arenas), taxpayers still and always will wind up ‘paying’ for these places.
    “Greed” could be considered “cost”-to say competitive, to stay in a particular market/location, to give fans the enjoyable experience/accommodations they’ve come to expect from a big-league team, yes?

    As someone who loves throwbacks, this is not great news. Historically, these uniforms were not worn in Carolina by the home hockey team until they pulled up stakes and the identity and colors should have stayed in Hartford where they belong. They’re not throwbacks, they’re nothing more than cosplay.

    So…the Whalers look is no to ever grace the ice, like the Cleveland Barons branding? That’s a shame and ought not to be!
    Historically, these were worn by the franchise, so it’s theirs (Carolina’s) to celebrate or not…just as the Nationals once were the Expos had have every claim to the Montreal look, along with the Avs/Nords situation….unlike say, the Mariners, who were never the Pilots and the Wild, who aren’t the NorthStars as much as they ‘want’ to be. Those are cosplay – YMMV.

    Historically, people watching hockey games in Minnesota and cheering for the home team were wearing North Stars logos and colors, just as people in Montreal did with the Expos, Houston with the Oilers, Seattle with the Mariners, etc. It is ahistorical cosplay to pretend the Whalers logo and colors belong in Carolina – people don’t buy tickets to watch owners/“franchises”, they buy tickets to watch their local teams with their family, friends, and neighbors. So when people in Minessota wear the same North Stars colors they did in the early 90’s to watch the Wild play in those colors, it’s not cosplay, it’s organic. When people in Houston wear Oilers gear it’s not ahistoric, it’s organic. When people in Carolina wear the same colors people in Hartford did, it’s cosplay.

    I agree with this view, and these days it feels like the ‘same corporate ownership means it’s the same team, no matter what city they move to’ view is on the increase. Until recently you rarely heard of Minnesota Twins fans claiming that their team won the 1924 World Series (as the Washington Senators). You absolutely never heard that the New York Yankees franchise began in 1901 in Baltimore; everybody knew that the team began with the move to New York in 1903.

    Jerry Seinfeld used to say we were ‘rooting for laundry’ because we’d support whatever players were wearing a uniform with our city’s name on it. These days it’s like we’re expected to ‘root for corporations’ who think they can take records and championships and team colors wherever they like. I say when you abandon your city, you’re starting a new franchise.

    (About the only more odious thing than this is when a new team sets itself up in a previously-abandoned city and picks the same colors and nickname as a departed team and claims that the old records belong to them. Nope, you don’t get to claim them either.)

    agreed — as someone who grew up a Whalers fan, this feels like sacrilege and a slap in the face to Hartford.

    No thanks.

    No, they were banned because they were too slick on the ice. Used to be, if you fell to the ice at high speed, the knit pattern of the socks (coincidentally known as the wale) would provide some friction against sliding out of control. The full length pants – both Philly and Hartford wore the CCM version, not the original Cooperalls – eliminated that extra friction, making it tougher to brace for impact against the boards.

    It’s ironic, because these days, most socks are a synthetic material – and just as smooth as the nylon was.

    As someone who grew up in CT and was 13 when the Whalers were ripped away from us, it really bothers me that Carolina not only got our old team but got to keep the rights to the Whalers name, insignia, etc. Whalers gear still gets sold in CT and it is painful to know that every time someone honors CT’s past you are simultaneously enriching the organization that abandoned us.

    Now people can quibble about whose at fault about their departure but at the end of the day, no matter why it happened, what is true is that the people of CT lost their team, and now are stuck with a decision to turn their back on that history or to keep it alive but all the while giving money to the very people who took that team away.

    100% agree — this is insulting to those of us who were actual Whalers fans. They left when I was 17 and I’m still without a real team.

    I was 11, my family did the typical Connecticut thing and split between Bruins and Rangers. I grew up in Fairfield County a short train ride from MSG so my dad went Rangers. I went Bruins though just because I don’t like NY in general and I already love the Red Sox.

    I feel like we need a “was a kid/teen in CT when the Whalers left,” support group. It still hurts. When we got that whiff of them returning a few months back after the Yotes area fell apart, I just imagined myself in the stands, first game back in a rebuilt Civic Center, just sobbing tears of joy as Brass Bonanza played.

    Agreed! I now live in New Hampshire which is prime Bruins territory, but I just can’t bring myself to root for them. I grew up just outside of Hartford and it’s still a sore subject.

    That being said, a Whalers jersey is perpetually on the my gift list….sigh

    I bought a Whalers hat from 47brand, kind of thought about that and haven’t bought Whalers gear since. I want this jersey so badly. It’s beautiful. I wanted the green one too. But I won’t do it for that reason.

    I wish that the AHL team had been allowed to buy the brand so at least we could have AHL Hartford Whalers. Pipe dream that makes no sense in the context, why would Carolina and the NHL surrender such a cash cow. But one can dream.

    Ah, the ownership issue of the Hartford Whalers’ logo and colors. Such a touchy subject and for good reason.

    The owner who moved the Hartford Whalers south to become the Carolina Hurricanes, Peter Karmanos, wouldn’t have touched this. I think that, regardless of his overt callousness toward the Hartford market in moving the organization, even he would have seen this as a bridge too far.

    The current owner, Tom Dundon, doesn’t see any of that. He sees this as another opportunity to push more merchandise and recoup some of the money he spent on acquiring the organization from Karmanos. This is the third different sweater the Hurricanes have worn since Dundon took over from Karmanos.

    The issue of whether the Carolina Hurricanes should be allowed to wear the Hartford Whalers’ logo and colors will always be divisive. While it can be viewed as a way to pay tribute to the organization’s roots, it can also been seen as a blatant merch grab, particularly with three different Whalers sweaters over such a short period of time. Two things can be correct.

    Awkward and painful, just like the Titans/Oilers thing. What I would love to see, however, is the Dodgers and Giants playing each other in one game dressed up in Brooklyn and New York replicas. To honor the places that they left behind. In this case, if the team would still be named the Whalers but with a different logo it would feel like a tribute to Hartford as well. Now it is just making money off a wonderful logo.

    I’d say that the Whalers departure is slightly more painful since Houston had their departed-team divot replaced, while Hartford did not.
    IIRC, though it’s been a while, both the Dodgers and Giants have worn throwbacks that reflect their NY roots (the latter matched up against the cosplaying Nats, who helped themselves to a Senators 1.0 home look)…but have never played a game against each other wearing them.
    As awkward as it may have been, I wish the Whalers name had not been mothballed – and of course, the negative-space H now stands for Hurricanes ; )

    Now that’s a hockey jersey. Great crest, great colors, (mostly) neat striping. To go from sets like this to the mono-red Hurricane sets of the late 1990s is one of the great sartorial tragedies of the sport.

    This against Toronto or Buffalo would be a beautiful matchup.

    Sometimes the comment threads on this blog feel like a competition to see who can be offended for the most creative reason.

    For everyone who’s bothered by the Hurricanes wearing these uniforms, you’re certainly entitled to your feelings. But remember, without the franchise keeping this look alive, the Whalers brand would be largely unknown 100 years from now, after their contemporary fans have all passed on. Is that really what you want – for your team to be forgotten?

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