Howard Baldwin

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Howard Baldwin
Born (1942-05-14) May 14, 1942 (age 74)
New York City, New York, United States
Nationality United States
Occupation American entrepreneur and film producer
Known for
  • CEO, Baldwin Entertainment
    Founder, New England Whalers ice hockey franchise in the WHA
    Part owner, Minnesota North Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins NHL franchises
Spouse(s) Karen Mulvihill Baldwin
Awards 2010 inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame in the builders category

Howard Baldwin (born May 14, 1942) is an American entrepreneur and film producer. He is the CEO of Baldwin Entertainment, which has produced films such as the Academy Award-nominated Ray. Baldwin founded the New England Whalers ice hockey franchise in the WHA and has also owned part of the Minnesota North Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins NHL franchises. He won the Stanley Cup in 1992 with Pittsburgh. The WHA's coach of the year award was originally named the Howard Baldwin Trophy in his honor.

Professional ice hockey[edit]

Connecticut teams[edit]

Baldwin has a long-standing involvement with Connecticut starting in 1974, when he relocated the New England Whalers to Hartford, and continuing with that after taking control of the Hartford Wolf Pack's business and every thing non-hockey related, he has also renamed the team the Connecticut Whale.[citation needed]

New England/Hartford Whalers[edit]

Main article: Hartford Whalers

Baldwin became one of the youngest executives in professional sports when he became a founder and partner of the World Hockey Association's (WHA) Boston-based Whalers in 1971 at the age of 28. Five years later he was president of the league. The Whalers first season in the WHA was a success both on and off the ice with coach Jack Kelley's team winning the 1973 AVCO World Cup Championship.

In 1974, Baldwin determined that the team needed its own building. He moved the Whalers from Boston to Hartford's new Civic Center Coliseum, a vehicle for the revitalization of downtown Hartford. In 1979 Baldwin guided the WHA into a historic merger with the National Hockey League. Baldwin served as the managing general partner of the Whalers until the team was sold to local ownership in 1988.

Hartford Wolf Pack/Connecticut Whale[edit]

In 2009, Baldwin founded Hartford Hockey LLC, better known as Whalers Sports & Entertainment, to promote ice hockey throughout Connecticut. In August 2010, Whalers Sports and Entertainment was hired by the NHL's New York Rangers to manage the day-to-day business and marketing affairs for their AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack. As part of the marketing agreement, the minor league team was renamed the Connecticut Whale, as tribute to the former Hartford Whalers team.[1][2]

Women's Hockey[edit]

Baldwin licensed the name Connecticut Whale to a franchise of the National Women's Hockey League , a founding member of the 2015 upstart league.

Other teams[edit]

Baldwin created the San Jose Sharks as an expansion team, later taking a controlling interest in the Minnesota North Stars, and before later purchasing the Pittsburgh Penguins, all of which with NHL ice hockey teams. At one time, he held a 50% interest in the "Red Army" team in Moscow. He became involved with the American Hockey League, a player development league affiliated with the NHL, forming the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Pennsylvania, and Manchester Monarchs in New Hampshire. Baldwin was a founding investor in the World Football League and was to own a franchise in Boston, Massachusetts, but pulled out of the league before its inaugural 1974 season began.

Pittsburgh Penguins[edit]

Main article: Pittsburgh Penguins

Baldwin's specialty was buying franchises with very little of his own money invested. For example, his actual cash investment in the Penguins was just $1,000. The rest was assumed debt and capital provided by other partners. His purchase of the Penguins was bankrolled largely by Morris Belzberg. Baldwin served as the Penguins chairman of the board and represented the club on the NHL Board of Governors. Under his direction the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, one Patrick Division regular season title, four Northeast Division titles, and one President's Trophy.

Baldwin and his partners created The American Hockey League expansion franchise in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1999 as the minor league affiliate of the NHL Penguins. When Belzberg left the ownership group, Baldwin recruited Roger Marino, a Boston investor. By that time, the Penguins were struggling financially and wound up declaring bankruptcy in November 1998.

Baldwin Entertainment Group[edit]

In addition to his interest in professional hockey, Baldwin has also enjoyed a successful career in film as a producer with his wife and producing partner, Karen Mulvihill Baldwin.[3] The Baldwins produced such films as Mystery, Alaska, Sudden Death, From The Hip, Spell Binder, and Joshua, among others.[3]


In 2010, he was elected as an inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame in the builders category.[4]


  1. ^ Whalers Sports & Entertainment; accessed May 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed May 22, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Karen Mulvihill Baldwin profile,; accessed May 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Profile,; accessed May 22, 2015.

External links[edit]