Jan. 18, 1978 - At 4:19 a.m., under the weight of snow and ice, the Civic Center Coliseum roof collapses. Springfield welcomes the Whalers and the 91 Club is born. Over the next two years, the Whalers ask fans to remain loyal while the Hartford roof is repaired and the building enlarged. Fewer than 300 cancel their season tickets. The 91 Club, when the building reopens, has 4,200 members. May 1979 - The New England Whalers change their name to the Hartford Whalers. June 22, 1979 -- Whalers join the National Hockey League with three other WHA teams as the NHL expands to 21 teams for the 1979-80 season. The WHA officially ends operation.
Courant File Photo