WHALE’S TALES 6/4/19: The Other Side Of The Glass
Being a fan of the Connecticut Whale and the NWHL is a special experience. It is certainly not unusual for fans to love the sport(s) they follow. But few fan bases are more passionate than the fans of the NWHL. And yet even within that ardent assemblage, the fans that comprise Cetacean Nation, the fans of the Connecticut Whale, are simply over the moon about the Pod. The players are unwavering in their appreciation of this, as you have probably experienced in person, or read in their own words. So we thought it a good time to get some insight into what exactly the NWHL and the Connecticut Whale mean to their fans. So, we asked them. We received some heartfelt responses, which we will share here in Whale’s Tales. Here then are the first couple of responses from our amazings in the stands!
Here are some thoughts from Ashley @NYR_2014, who stated:
“I’ve been following the NWHL since day one. When I was deciding what team to root for, I told myself anyone but Boston (I followed the Blades in the CWHL). Right before the season started I decided on the Connecticut Whale. Mostly because I thought their logo was cute! Fast forward four years later: Women’s Hockey basically consumes my entire life, well, my spare time anyway. The Connecticut Whale and the NWHL hold a very special place in my heart. I have a large scrapbook to prove it. I’m so unbelievably grateful to have met my favorite players over the last four seasons. Before the NWHL I didn’t know who they were. Specifically from the Pod: Chelsea Laden, Anya Battaglino, Sam Faber, and Shannon Doyle. Getting to meet each of them was nothing short of amazing and I will forever love and appreciate them. Season 5 can’t come soon enough. I was already a fan of Bray Ketchum, the 2018 Isobel Cup Champion, but I’m an even bigger fan of Bray Ketchum the General Manager. I can’t wait to see the rosterBray puts together for 2019-20, if history tells us anything, it’s Connecticut’s year. Let’s bring Isobel home where she belongs! Go Whale!”
And Jennifer @nhljennifer, offered us these comments to share: “
“The NWHL has done more for me than I could have ever imagined. When I went to my first game, New York Riveters vs. Buffalo Beauts at Aviator Sports and Events Center on Valentine’s Day back in 2016, I immediately felt like there was a place for me in this community. Every single player I’ve met has been extremely appreciative to their fans and to the league itself for giving them the opportunity to play. I’ve developed unique relationships with more players than I can count, and it means everything to me. To see the same faces every week and have them recognize me and thank me for all that I do (when I feel like I should be thanking them, honestly) is such a surreal experience. Before I knew it, the Metropolitan Riveters became my home. With every hug from Miye D’oench, every compliment from Kim Sass, every selfie from Harrison Browne and every quick laugh with Alexa Gruschow, I felt more and more like I had a place somewhere. The NWHL started to mean even more to me when I began travelling to Connecticut for Whale games. The team does seem like a group of underdogs; they’re the only team out of the “founding four” and the current five teams not to win a championship and they don’t always have the best of luck with winning. However, the closer you get to the team, the more you see how much heart they have. My friendship with Sophia Agostinelli is something I’ll treasure forever; she makes every single person she interacts with feel special and gives her all to everything she does. And since this is a website for Whale fans, I know I don’t have to tell you all how amazing Anya Battaglino is. I quite literally consider her and Madison Packer my “hockey parents”, and it’s nice to have them as two familiar faces whether I’m in Newark or Stamford.”
“As the years have gone on, there has been a myriad of obstacles for these players and many more, from pay cuts, to failing partnerships, and, now, to 200+ players vowing not to play in any North American league this year. What has amazed me about the NWHL since its conception is how positive every single player has managed to stay. Although they have different ways of going about it, I firmly believe that every single one of these players is doing what they believe is right and best for the state of women’s hockey in North America right now. This league has become a place where I feel at home, and it’s not the buildings that made me feel like that; it’s the players. So, in a time where many women’s hockey fans feel conflicted or like they have to pick a side, I hope that my mushy ramble about how much this sport means to me helps you realize that you don’t have to do either of those things. Everyone has the same common goal when it comes to this; to preserve and further the amazing impact that this sport has had on its fans (like me, hi!). I’m hoping my story can help the community focus on that, because when all is said and done, growing the game is what this is all about.”
Fins Up to these two charter members of Cetacean Nation! More of your thoughts on the Whale wil be shared here in future Whale’s Tales. if you would like to tell the rest of Cetacean Nation what the NWHL and the Whale mean to you, contact us via DM on one of our social media outlets.
Update 6/1/19: Center Kendra Broad from Neuchâtel Hockey Academy Dames in the SWHL has signed with the Pod, our thitd signing this spring. Last season, our first signings were a mon;th later! Fins up to off th a great start!
Update 6/5/19: Our iconic veteran blue liner #14 Elena Orlando has re-signed with the Whale, for her fifth NWHL season. Great start by our new GM Bray Ketchum, with four signings so far.
Update 6/11/19: Our Whale made their fifth signing of a very active off season, re-signing OW #26 Jordan Brickner, the fourth blue liner to join Bray’s Bunch for season five of the NWHL.
Update 6/17/19: Bray Ketchum and our Whale annunced their sixth signing of this off season, inking rookie forward Jane Morrisette from UMass Boston.