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What happens when NHL refs can’t make it for puck drop?

Hartford Whalers v New Jersey Devils Photo by B Bennett/Getty Images

There is probably no defunct team as beloved as the Hartford Whalers. Their jerseys and that logo design are iconic and are still sought after. The Carolina Hurricanes have brought it back, most recently with their Reverse Retro jersey design, and it’s a consistent cash cow. Pucky the Whale? How often are logos turned into mascots?

I probably only have to say the words “Brass Bonanza” to get the song stuck in your head, but if you need some extra help, here you go:

For good measure, have the NHL 94 version, too.

Sadly for their fans, the Whalers departed Connecticut for Raleigh in 1997, but their legacy is strong. I get comments on Blues shirts I wear out and about in metro Atlanta, but I’ve also had “GO WHALERS” yelled at me down the beer aisle at Publix before whenever I trot out my Whalers shirt. I was obviously never a fan of the Whale, but that logo and that damn song always reminds me of being a kid and collecting hockey cards, so I have a soft spot for it.

They gave the Blues Chris Pronger, so we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

They also gave the world this story about weather, refs, and the importance of a good snow plow.

What does the NHL do when weather prevents the officiating crew from showing up? Now, they don’t have that issue because come hell or high water, the league will get their refs there Back in 1983?

They follow Rule 31.11 to the letter. Perhaps they don’t follow the spirit of the rule, but no one ever said that players can’t ref their own game. Perhaps the NHL should be more specific with who those replacement refs should be:

From Secret Base, here is the forgotten story of what happens when refs - and a good chunk of the fans - don’t show up to a game between the Devils and the Whalers.