The Whalers are back at least for the weekend.
As the Hartford Yard Goats celebrate the third annual Whalers alumni weekend, several former players visited the UConn Health center on Friday.
"I’m glad that they did this. I’m so glad. Brought my spirits up, that’s for sure," said Carol Rolon, of Canton.
Players dating back to the 70s, 80s and 80s skated from room to room spreading positive thoughts.
"I'm thrilled. My sons are going to be so happy," added Judy Sylvester, of Farmington.
Kyle Mosakowski was just about to enter surgery to mend a broken arm when the Whaler power-play arrived.
"Yeah, it's pretty crazy. Everybody seems to have the same thing I have-- plates in their arms, legs, head and everywhere else. Yeah, it's pretty neat," Mosakowski said.
Patients weren't the only ones happy to see the Whalers return. UConn Health Center Nurse Robin Menasian fondly remembers games she attented with her late father, who was a season ticket holder.
"He was a huge fan and we still have great memories, Whalers paraphernalia all over the house and still is," Menasian added.
Although they've been gone since 1997, the Whalers are happy to do what they've done for decades: continue giving back to the Hartford community.
"I said, ‘guys the people who come to our games, they’re paying our salary. We need to give something back. And if you ask everybody who’s here, they’ll never say no about coming back to Connecticut," said Andre Lacrois, a former Hartford Whaler.
"Doing this is part of what we’ve always done, but it’s more rewarding for us than anyone else," added Dave Babych, a former Hartford Whaler.
The Whaler alumni weekend goes through Sunday, but Saturday may be the highlight.
The Yard Goats are hosting a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. where fans can purchase tickets and eat with 20 former Whalers players. Tickets can be purchased here and all proceeds go to Yard Goat charities.