The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t had much success since changing from the Hartford Whalers. They’ve only had 13 playoff appearances out of their 38 seasons, only winning one Stanley Cup in 2006. They did not play well again this past 2017-2018 season with a 36-35 record, and a 1216-1342 overall record before that. For the past three seasons, ESPN shows that their average attendance rating, has been abysmal, finishing dead last in 2015-2016 (12,203) and 2016-2017 (11,706), then barely improving this past season finishing in third to last (13,320).
There are many benefits of moving to Hartford. The Hartford-New Haven media market is the largest in the U.S. without a “big four” sports franchise according to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight. The team wouldn’t have as much competition from other big sports teams because in North Carolina there is the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets, while in Connecticut there is only the Connecticut Sun (WNBA) and UCONN’s sports teams. The Whalers could play in the XL Center in Hartford, which holds over 16,000 fans, and then they could renovate it to hold more seats as time goes by. There’s still plenty of Whalers fans who want the Hurricanes to come back to Hartford. There’s so much history with the old team including historic rivalries with teams like the Boston Bruins. With the organization recently announcing new throwback Whaler jerseys, they might as well go all the way and make the move back to Hartford.