The Hartford Whalers left Connecticut in 1997, but they still have one of the most passionate fan bases in the NHL.

Despite reaching nearly 22 years without a Whalers game, the desire to see an NHL team return to The Heartbeat remains strong as a contingent of Whalers fans gathered at the Spotlight Theater in downtown Hartford to watch the Carolina Hurricanes, donning throwback Whalers jerseys, take on the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday night.

The event was put on by the Hartford Whalers Booster Club who lead efforts to bring an NHL team back to the Nutmeg state. Check out the interviews above to see just how close the Whalers may be to returning.

Thumbnail photo via Whalers Watch Party Event