|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2007)|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Founded||1977 (First franchise)
1987 (Second franchise)
|Operated||1977–1987 (First franchise)
1987–1992 (Second franchise)
|Home arena||Cumberland County Civic Center|
|Colors||orange and black; black and gold (when Boston Bruins affiliate)|
New Jersey Devils,
|1993–2003||Saint John Flames|
|2005–2007||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights|
|2007–2009||Quad City Flames|
|Regular season titles||3 (1977–78, 1978–79), 1983–84|
|Division Championships||5 (1977–78, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1984–85, 1987–88)|
|Calder Cups||3 (1977–78, 1978–79, 1983–84)|
Once the Cumberland County Civic Center began construction in 1976, there was discussion of the building hosting a minor league hockey franchise. Three franchises eventually made bids to play hockey in Portland: the WHA's Quebec Nordiques, the American Hockey League's Providence Reds, and the Philadelphia Flyers from the National Hockey League. Quebec, who had already a farm team in Lewiston (the Maine Nordiques of the North American Hockey League), was considering supporting affiliates in Portland as well. Rhode Island, who were an established AHL franchise, didn't want to relocate to Portland, but instead proposed scheduling a dozen regular season games there. Philadelphia was the only franchise that wanted to utilize Portland as their teams sole farm club, and in 1977, the agreement to create the Maine Mariners was struck. It proved to be bad news for the Maine Nordiques, who ceased operations after the 1977 season.
Bob McCammon was the team's first head coach. The first regular season game in franchise history was played in Portland in front of 6,566 spectators on October 15, 1977 against the Binghamton Broome Dusters.
The Mariners are the only franchise in league history to win the Calder Cup title in their first two seasons (1977–78, 1978–79) and at the time were the only team to ever capture the Calder Cup during their inaugural season. Later, the feat was matched by the team that brought AHL hockey back to Portland, the Portland Pirates.
Maine returned to the Calder Cup final in 1980–81 and first-year goaltender Pelle Lindbergh became the only goaltender in AHL history, and just the third player ever, to win the AHL regular season MVP and AHL outstanding rookie award in the same season. Bob McCammon won his second AHL coach of the year award.
In 1983–1984 the franchise was taken over by the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. However, it kept the Flyers' colors of orange, black and white rather than switch to the Devils' black, red and green. The same season Maine became only the fourth team in AHL history to win a Calder Cup title with a losing regular season record. The Mariners defeated the Rochester Americans in a rematch of the previous year’s finals four games to one. It was the local’s third Calder Cup crown and their fifth finals appearance in seven years. Maine’s championship year was truly a team effort as no members of the club made the all-star team, won a league award during the regular season, or placed in the regular season top ten in scoring. Bud Stefanski was the first recipient of the new AHL playoff MVP award.
Following the 1986–87 season, the original Mariners franchise was moved to Utica, New York, renaming themselves the Utica Devils. However, Portland was not without hockey, as the league approved an expansion team supplied by players from the Boston Bruins. The expansion team assumed the Mariners name and history and took on the Bruins' black-gold-white scheme. After five seasons in Portland, the Mariners franchise was moved to Providence, Rhode Island following the 1991–92 season and renamed the Providence Bruins. The final Mariners home game took place on April 4, 1992 against the Fredericton Express.
Portland was not without AHL hockey for long; a season later, the Portland Pirates arrived and have played in Portland ever since.
This market was previously served by:
This market is now the home to:
- Portland Pirates (1993–present)
|Season||Prelim||1st round||2nd round||Finals|
|1977–78||—||bye||W, 4–3, NS||W, 4–1, NH|
|1978–79||—||bye||W, 4–2, NS||W, 4–0, NH|
|1979–80||—||W, 4–2, NS||L, 2–4, NB||—|
|1980–81||—||W, 4–3, SPR||W, 4–3, NB||L, 2–4, ADIR|
|1981–82||—||L, 1–3, NS||—||—|
|1982–83||—||W, 4–3, NS||W, 4–2, FRED||L, 0–4, ROCH|
|1983–84||—||W, 4–3, ADIR||W, 4–1, NS||W, 4–1, ROCH|
|1984–85||—||W, 4–2, NS||L, 1–4, SHER||—|
|1985–86||—||L, 1–4, MONC||—||—|
|1986–87||Out of playoffs.|
|1987–88||—||W, 4–1, NS||L, 1–4, FRED||—|
|1988–89||Out of playoffs.|
|1989–90||Out of playoffs.|
|1990–91||L, 7–12, FRED †||—||—||—|
|1991–92||Out of playoffs.|
† Two game combined total goals series.
- Brian Burke - Current Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations and 2006-07 Stanley Cup Champion while General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks
- Pete Peeters - Went on to play 491 NHL games and Won the Vezina Trophy for the 1982-83 season.
- Ken Linseman - Went on to play 860 NHL games 1983-84 Stanley Cup Winner with the Edmonton Oilers 
- Alain Vigneault - Current coach of the New York Rangers. Won the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year with the Vancouver Canucks in 2006-07.
- Ken Daneyko-3 time Stanley Cup Champion, 2000 Bill Masterton Trophy winner, 1283 NHL games played