The American Hockey League team playing at the XL Center will be renamed the Hartford Wolf Pack in time for the start of the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by both Madison Square Garden, owners of the team, and Global Spectrum, the new operators of the team and the arena in which the team will play, the XL Center.
The Wolf Pack, which originally played in Hartford from 1997 until 2010, was renamed the Connecticut Whale for three seasons. The Wolf Pack remain the New York Rangers AHL affiliate.
“The return to the Hartford Wolf Pack name signifies a return to the roots of this franchise, emphasizing the ties that this team has to the Hartford community,” said Jim Schoenfeld, New York Rangers Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel and Assistant Coach. “It celebrates the winning tradition of the franchise and focuses on the qualities of teamwork and loyalty.”
“The name change also coincides with our new partnership with Global Spectrum who will handle all of the marketing, advertising and game-day operations in Hartford for us,” added Schoenfeld. “Global Spectrum has an outstanding reputation for operating world-class arenas and their attention to providing our fans with the ultimate experience is second to none.”
Global Spectrum, a leader in operating public assembly facilities worldwide, is a subsidiary of the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company Comcast-Spectacor. The company was hired to operate XL Center, Rentschler Field, as well as the Wolf Pack.
Global Spectrum named Chris Lawrence to be the General Manager of the Wolf Pack, XL Center and Rentschler Field. Before arriving in Hartford, Lawrence was the General Manager of the Glens Falls Civic Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers AHL-affiliate, Adirondack Phantoms. He was the captain of the NCAA Frozen Four Champion Michigan State Spartans in 2007.
“There is a rich hockey history here in Hartford,” said Lawrence. “Our primary goals are to revitalize hockey in the Hartford market, enhance the experience for the fans and bring a high-level of customer service to the venues in which we manage.
“In the short time we have been here, we can tell that Hartford is a very passionate community. We are creating an affordable family entertainment experience with the Wolf Pack.”
The Wolf Pack staff will begin holding Town Hall Meetings for their Season Ticket Holders and potential season ticket holders. These meetings allow fans to provide feedback and suggestions for the upcoming season. Date and location will be announced later this week.
The team is also distributing season ticket renewal information this week.