April 2, 1974

Boston bid the New England Whalers farewell. A crowd of 14,711 turned out for their final game at Boston Garden, a 4-1 loss to the Houston Aeros.

Peel back the layers and consider the roots holding the Carolina Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers/New England Whalers, born at the Garden on Oct. 12, 1972.

The Whalers were a founding franchise in the World Hockey Association, playing home games at the Garden (when it was available) and the Boston Arena (when the Bruins, their AHL affiliate Boston Braves, or the Celtics were home). The Bruins didn’t mind squeezing the Whalers into the Garden’s already tight schedule; money was money.

Hockey was king in Boston, and the Whalers swooped in and took their share of the bounty.

But the Whalers, who won the WHA’s first championship on the Garden ice on May 6, 1973, wanted a home of their own. So, they left the old Causeway St. barn and set out for Hartford.

When the NHL gobbled up the WHA in a merger, the Whalers were one of four franchises to survive. They abandoned Hartford and went to North Carolina in 1997.