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Connecticut governor says he’s lined up money to bring Hartford Whalers back

It’s not time to fire up “Brass Bonanza” yet. But it does sound like there is a tad more substance behind the latest push to bring the Whalers back to Hartford.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told WTNH-TV in New Haven he has a group ready to buy the Arizona Coyotes and move them to town. Lamont said he has met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and is “working it hard,” adding the state will pay up to retrofit the existing XL Center or build a new arena in order to meet NHL standards.

“If we get the Whalers back, we’ll do it,” Lamont said.

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There are undoubtedly a lot of hurdles to clear. The Coyotes have to actually move. There are much more popular relocation candidates, like Houston and Salt Lake City. The Bruins and Rangers would likely have to give their blessing. The Hurricanes would probably try to somehow hold onto the Whalers’ intellectual property. And, you know, they’d probably need close to a billion dollars in public money to make the building happen. But other than that!

If there is any justice in the world, the Whalers will return. Send the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Western Conference and bring the Whale into the Metropolitan Division. This is the one good thing the NHL has done: A glut of regional rivalry games. And we’d get even more.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.